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In this week’s episode, Ray, Augusto, Francis and Art gathered round the microphones to discuss what they noticed happening in the world of personal productivity, and then what their plans are for next year (in terms of their own systems and other work they are doing).
(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit https://productivitycast.net/118 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)
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In this Cast | 2021 in Review, 2022 in Preview
Show Notes | 2021 in Review, 2022 in Preview
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
- Google Meet
- Apple FaceTime
- Productivity unicorns like ClickUp face off in competitive market
- What the future of work means for productivity tools – Protocol
Raw Text Transcript
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Welcome back, everybody to ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:23
And I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:24
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:25
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:27
Welcome, gentlemen, and welcome to our listeners to this episode of ProductivityCast. Today, we’re going to be doing a year in review and a year in preview for personal productivity, both in the world of productivity and in our systems. So we’re just going to cover some of the notable things that we kind of noticed this particular year. And it was a kind of an odd year, considering we’ve been dealing with the pandemic over the past two years. And so we’re gonna highlight some of the notable items there. We’re then going to talk a little bit about the things that we think happened, notably in our own personal productivity systems, or kind of in our world, and then what would like to what we’d like to happen again, the good things, and what we’d like to be different the areas of improvement, so to speak. And then we’ll talk a little bit about what we’re planning for 2022. For those of you who kind of follow it, pay attention to what we’re doing out there in the world, you can kind of see and follow along with us as we make these kinds of implementations into our own worlds. And so let’s start off with what were the kind of notable productivity events of 2021. What were the things that you really noticed in the personal productivity world that happened?
Art Gelwicks 1:37
I mean, I think the biggest things that everybody is knee deep in right now and have truly recognized that wasn’t necessarily new in 2021. But it became part of our norm is the understanding that the office as we used to know it has changed working from home hybrid from work, full remote work, whatever you want to call it, is here, and it’s not going anywhere, it’s no longer just a perk, it’s no longer just a fun thing that you occasionally get to do this, this is a part of the new norm and will not be going away. And from a personal productivity standpoint, it changes the dynamic for us, because now, we don’t have that clear dividing line of getting up driving, you know, commuting into an office working at a different location, and then coming back home. And having that separation for if you had that separation at all to start with. Now that’s completely gone, because now work is in your house. So I think the impact of that in 2021 is forcing us not only personally and professionally, but on a deep individual level, to rethink what productivity really means to us to avoid overwhelm to avoid burnout, to really have a sense as to this is what is important to me. Do you think
Raymond Sidney-Smith 3:05
that that means that for the for the vast majority of people who still do need to go into an office environment, and there are still going to be people who need to do that? There’s no question plus the folks who want to? And does that mean that we all have to be, in essence, like road warriors, we have to understand how to use our mobile technology better. What has this year really taught us about the fact that because if every organization in some way, shape or form is hybrid, and work is happening in different locations at different times, how do we how do we deal with that switch context happening across an entire organization?
Art Gelwicks 3:44
See, I think this is one of those situations where the inflammation workers are getting a little dose of reality. Because if you think about most professions, let’s say for example, a carpenter or a plumber or something like that, they will go to a job site, they will take their tools with them, they will go they will do their work, they will work as long as they need to they will come back but that’s not their office as per se, information workers, especially in a corporate environment have gotten spoiled to say Oh, I will come in My computer will be there, it will be set up for me my desk will be there. They’ll give me a nice office chair. And it doesn’t have to be that way. And it isn’t that way anymore. Those of us who have worked remotely or or worked in environments where we go to client sites and things like that we’re used to going in with everything in our world in our backpack or our computer bag and setting up and working and leaving. So there’s no harm in that. There’s no harm and getting comfortable with that type of a road warrior mentality, not so much to the degree of Oh, everything has to be you know, maximum in functionality minimum inside but we have to be thinking about flexibility. And we have to also take responsibility, because we are now responsible for a lot of this stuff. It is not going to come and set stuff up Your house for you, you become truly responsible for things like your internet connection, getting your mouse working those types of things. And it’s just, it’s gonna sound a little harsh, but this is when people actually have to grow up about this stuff. Especially professionals.
Augusto Pinaud 5:19
And yes, I’m laughing as you say they need to grow up because they should have grown up many, many years ago, but, but he’s true. And all in those lines, yes. Now you’re going to be but it’s even more complex and deep like that, you know, you are seeing on manufacturing now that the production workers, okay, that’s those people who is in the line who, okay, who has been traditionally they still need to go into the office, okay, they need to manage production, they need to help with all that are asking HR, okay, why they other people can be hybrid? And we cannot, how can we get our schedules more human? Because normally you have, you know, three shifts, you know, that shift in the morning, a shift in the midday the shift in the night. And the shift on the night for most people is like the worst shift the punishment shift. And now they’re asking, well, how we can make it better, because otherwise, we are going to start looking for other solutions. And as you said, people is discovering, okay, now I don’t have that it to help me connect my computer and fix it. And they are need to go out of their comfort zone. And that is on every level, we’re not talking about the entry level guy, we’re talking about the VPs, and the high level on the food chain, given on some of them, they still can call they it may not come but may remotely login into their computer, and help them fix. But it is a problem that we are seeing every day. The good news with all this is that most people experience what they quote unquote geeks has experience for years, in software, in teamwork in how to make these things more effectively into No, we don’t need to sit into that conference room for two hours, we can make it in 15 minutes in a zoom call or a Google me or a Google or, or a teams. And that I think it’s showing a lot of people in that corporate world that it can be done better. Now we are going to come for a long period of resistance, you know what we are been listening Oh, the big quitting thing that is coming? Well, that is part of the resistance. And he’s the resistance of the old school saying we are not going to make the change. And the new younger generations are or geeks in this case, coming and saying, Well, if you don’t change we’re leaving. And that is going to be a really or make for a really interesting thing. In the year to come,
Francis Wade 7:58
the pathway to be more productive, is going to be more clear, because we’re online. The fact that we’re online means that now we can actually we must actually measure certain things not most, but the software we’re using is going to start telling us, it’s going to start giving us analytics about our productivity. You know, for example, at some point in time, Google meats and zoom will start to give you back analytics that tell you how well the meetings are being run. At some point, they’re going to aggregate those statistics and say that you’re spending x number of hours in a year in meetings. And at some point, someone is gonna say, Well, how can you cut back the number of meetings by a half and still accomplish the same result. So one of the side effects of all this is that because we’re using more online tools, we’ll have more online data so that we can actually make more concrete improvements. That’s a that’s a big plus over the analog world where you could literally sit in a meeting in a room for three hours and accomplish nothing. It’s much harder to do that when the analytics are actually going to be catching up with you with the behavior. And even better if you know if you have some AI built in, they could prompt you and say this meeting is over time. Do you really want another all? You know, these things are? These things will help us to be more productive. But that’s just one example. There’s lots of them. I think, and I think there’s many more coming. It’s just the those who think that we’re going to go back to the way things are, are probably dragging those who think that we’re not going to go back to the way things are and that we read, we need brand new tools to help us to do to move forward. So I think there’s still a bit of a stall about whether the new normal is going to be the old normal, or it’s going to be something at a whole different level. So I think it’s going to be a whole we’re going to unleash productivity tools that we’ve never seen before.
Augusto Pinaud 9:48
Yeah, I think I need to agree with you. I don’t know if we are going to unleash productivity tools as we have never seen before or we are going to see an engagement with productivity tools, as we have never seen before, where the non productivity geeks, the non productivity intuitions are going to come now into, okay, you need to teach me how to use Trello. And you need to teach me how to really make this work in this world. And that is going to make it really, really interesting.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 10:22
I think in line with that, I think this is something that I found interesting. And I’m curious about what you all see in this particular space. But this year, we saw a number of notable investments in productivity software, several companies like click up and others have gotten pretty substantial investments in their activities, some companies went public. And so we are seeing in the, in the what we consider team and workplace productivity, software space, more development at a really fast clip. But also, the fact of the matter is, is that we’re seeing financial investment, which means we are going to see companies be around a little bit longer. And so I use the example of click up, you know, they’ve gotten nearly half a billion dollars in total funding, they only started in 2017. Here we are in 2021, the end of 2021. And they’ve continued to gain momentum. And they are somewhat of a darling among personal productivity enthusiasts, except for the fact that they are a team and workplace collaboration software, they’re not designed for personal productivity system necessarily. And what we see in the personal productivity world is that we who are very cute into the personal productivity space, you know, whether that be test management software, or basically project management, light software, we jump on those software very early on, and some are winners, and some are losers in the markets, and those impact our systems and really interesting and unique ways. And so I just noticed that this year that we got quite a bit of development energy behind a lot of the online collaboration tools, the tools like zoom, and Google meet, and even Apple FaceTime was, was extended to to have links. So you can join those FaceTime meetings via via non Apple devices. And we’re really seeing some some growth in spaces that I didn’t think we’d ever see. Right. And, and yet, at the same time, we’re seeing more and more money pour into that market, because of what art was talking about earlier in terms of remote work being here to stay. And so I don’t know if any of you have any, any thoughts on that? And then we could talk a little bit about kind of the ecosystem consolidation integration. Go ahead.
Art Gelwicks 12:40
Yeah, for it’s always good to see investments in these types of companies, because it gives you confidence that they’re actually going to be around. That being said, I mean, we see companies like Google pulling out, pulling the rug out from under apps all the time. So that by no means is a guarantee.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:56
I think the difference though, between a Google is that it’s a single project within Google’s very large ecosystem, so they can pull a project out, and it makes no difference to their bottom line revenues. They’re an advertising company, and they could just they could toss it out when if Asana were to take their product suite and toss it out. That’s the end of the company, right?
Art Gelwicks 13:15
Well, let me let me quantify because we are talking about personal productivity. If you take something let’s say, for example, notion decides to pivot sees where the money is, and they decide to go primarily enterprise. Well, everybody who’s gone through and built a lot of personal productivity stuff within notion winds up, you know, in a set of dire straits. So when you have a large investment like that, in a company, it’s good to know that that at least that company is going to be around and you’re not going to have to execute your exit plan right away. That said, I am still a little concerned about what could possibly be productivity and collaboration bubble that’s starting to grow. We’ve seen a lot of companies come to come to fruition during this time period, providing web services, providing video services, collaboration applications, and there’s a lot of smaller ones that aren’t getting this investment like we’re talking about and that are likely to disappear as things shift. Now, the only thing offsetting the whole bubble concept would be the fact that this isn’t going away right away. So there is still a continuing need. But I think this is an important thing to take into consideration if you’re looking at at platforms and tools that are getting a good financial investment. It should give you a little bit of a warm fuzzy feeling that at least they’re going to be there tomorrow but plan like they’re not
Augusto Pinaud 14:34
I think you always should plan that they’re not going to be forever and that’s the reason I always said you know, if that piece of software do not half an extra strategy and you cannot export your data, don’t even play with it, you know, work away. The older people who remember that thing they I read on the books called y2k. I don’t remember what happened but aside right on the books, you know, the y2k really put tech into The map we discovered, oh, this is important. Having these investments, important investments, having now this company’s going into the stock market for the first time being on the financial markets attention, I think is going to put personal productivity in the map. You know, this has been for so many years, the Geek on enthusiast world, and I think finally is going to start getting to the masses. And that is going to be incredibly well, for everybody.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:36
I put the link into the show notes for everyone to look at. And this is about this kind of space of who is getting funded and why they’re being funded and very interesting protocol audit article that I highly recommend anyone who’s interested to kind of look at a thesis kind of to our our third, this takes us to our third area of what has really happened this year in 2021, which is, I agree, so you could speak to this, which is the consolidation and integration of many of the ecosystems, talk a little bit about how people are going happily,
Augusto Pinaud 16:10
you know, well, they are, you know, Apple has been famous for integrating their platforms, you know, their Mac, their iPad, their phone, and you can go really easily from one to the other, and have the same information. And they have synchronize almost successful and almost all the time, in a really good way. But when you were to the other side, when you were a Windows or you were an Android now, you didn’t have that ease of synchronization. And when we seen this year with Samsung, and Android was No, no, let’s bring that experience today on Samsung was the flagship was this, integrating Samsung with Windows and then Google came after and said, Okay, we’re doing it, too, was windows 11. And you will be able to put your Android applications into the Windows machine. And all that. And I think that is incredible, because what that is going to allow users is what Apple people has been able to enjoy for a long time. That is, I start working on my phone and get to my office and continue on the iPad and get to the Mac, and continue on the Mac and it is almost invisible. What I do, I just picked the device that will be more appropriate for this job that bring him to the other side to the Windows side to the Android side, it’s going to allow people to experience that jump in productivity, when you are now picking their device that is better for the situation. And not the software, software now gets to be invisible. And you’re really choosing what’s going to be the hard work that is more appropriate for this
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:56
app to say I’ve been doing this for a long time just by installing into all of my devices, the Google parts. And so you know, no matter what device I’m on, I’m using Google technology on all of them. You know, that is Google software. And now we’re seeing the operating system and hardware developers get the point, which is that the more integration, the greater the workflow success for the individual using your software, which means they’ll be interested in actually buying your hardware again, and again and again. And at the end of the day, we are buying software when we’re buying hardware. And we need to kind of rationalize and deal with all of the fact of of the reality that is when you buy say something in your home IOT setup, that is really a piece of software that you’re buying. It just happens to have a hardware vessel, and it’s being auto updated. It’s changing over time, there’s a there’s a different perspective, we need to think about when it comes to these pieces of technology that we buy the physical objects, when in reality, the things that bind them together are what allow us to be more productive. And we need to start thinking through how those things work together and push back against the companies that go ahead and lock us out of being able to connect those tools to together. I want my phone and my tablet and my my laptop and my desktop devices to work seamlessly together to make me more productive. Don’t lock me out of connecting those tools in ways that make us think that that hold me back from my highest potential. And I think that we’re starting to see that happen. As Augusto noted,
Art Gelwicks 19:40
I agree to a certain point, we are seeing that. But we’re also seeing the classic dilemma of silos ation. And and getting locked into ecosystems. I mean, we’ve always seen if you’re an Apple user, you tend to gravitate to the Apple ecosystem just because default Things work together, Samsung has started to more more actively embrace that model, I think we’ll see even more companies doing the same type of thing. And you and you have to be careful about it. We talk about this on on cross platform all the time, when you get locked into a singular ecosystem. Things may be smoother, but your options are more limited. And you’re right, being able to connect and cross cross things over between devices between systems. If I choose a piece of hardware that falls outside that ecosystem, am I limiting my options, so that has to be a consideration it is it is nice, it’s convenient. Don’t get me wrong there. I mean, if you know that everything you buy is going to happily work with each other. That sure makes life easy. You just have to understand what you’re giving up to get to that point,
Augusto Pinaud 20:50
I agree with you, when you can choose the device. I know when I go into scam went to work on an iPad, I agree, I choose to limit my options. But I think the face of this, and part of the importance of this change massively when you cannot pick that device, when now corporate gives you here is your shiny and beautiful Dell. And you need to live with this thing. And this thing, now I can go and integrate my phone into the theme to make not only work better, but my personal productivity integrate better with that working machine. And I think that’s when this it’s going to mean a change. And again, as we have discussing, you know, remote work is here. The it seems like the apps for under software for personal productivity are getting and gaining momentum. Same with the apps for organizational productivity. I think this consolidation piece will now allow the universality of the devices. Regardless if you got a Dell for work, or you have now a Samsung at home, if you manage that environment, in this case, you decide your Mac or your windows, okay, and everything else will integrate that way, people will find in general, a lot more productivity than before.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:17
And I know that I’m a bit of an edge case, because I use pretty much every operating system, every major operating system is on my desk at the present moment. And so I know that I’m very unique in this case. But I also think that the integration across the systems taking the lead with Samsung, integrating with Microsoft Windows, through the Android operating system, I think is just a really good step in the right direction for folks like me who do have to work cross operating systems, right, we’re not choosing a particular operating system. And it’s purposeful in those choices for the folks who are unfortunately, crossing platforms in that sense. I think this will also benefit them. But I think for those of us who are productivity minded, and know that we want to be able to work across different hardware, and different operating systems that we’re capable of having that work just a wee bit better. Those were really our thoughts on what happened in productivity in 2021. Let’s move on to some of the notable things that happened in our own personal productivity systems this year. And what we’d like to happen again next year, what we would like not to happen again next year. looking in the rearview mirror, so to speak.
Art Gelwicks 23:37
Yeah. 2021 has been a year of reevaluation for me I’ve gone through from the ground up and reevaluate at reevaluated how I used to do list one note, notion, all my primary tools, because this is a good opportunity, at least I found to realize how overcomplicated I have made my systems in many cases. And taking advantage of of this shift in how the world works, has given me a chance to say okay, am I keeping too much stuff? Am I over planning Am I over engineering, what I’ve got in play that’s been especially in the second half of 2021 been my real primary push. The other thing is to finally use my calendars effectively. I’ve always struggled with calendars, we talked about this in previous shows, I’ve started to really make a concerted effort to put events on calendars in the right ways and create the recurring structures that are really going to be beneficial to me and make that more of an integral integral part of my processes, rather than just kind of having them show up there every so often. Finally, Gousto and I launched this year, the Cross Platform podcast which talks about productivity, regardless of tool or technology. So it was it was fun to get that ball rolling. We’ve actually had a bunch of shows already we’ve hit I think 20 Already We’re just going to continue pressing that in 2021. So I’m really looking forward to seeing where that’s going.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:05
So based on that conversation that you’ve been having with a Gousto, on cross platform, do you feel like your utilization of tools across platforms has changed this year?
Art Gelwicks 25:14
It’s forcing me because of the because the show is just that it it is not platform restricted, it is truly platform agnostic. It does make me think a little bit more of asking the question every time, am I locking myself into something? What’s the risk of doing something we’ve seen this year, a lot of new hardware come out, we’ve seen a lot of new computers come out. And when we when you go through that period of hey, maybe I’ll think about upgrading my machine or I’ll you know, buy a new laptop or something. Now, the question becomes actively, am I making that choice? Because of a specific piece of software? What is the the larger benefit? And what am I giving up? By making that specific choice, it broadens my horizons a little bit. When questioning the choices I’m making within my system, totally understand
Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:09
that having having just gotten a new Samsung Galaxy watch. There we go. There we go. I am I’m uniquely frustrated with Samsung and their and their Samsung guts. And in Google not doing a better job of integrating with the watch. But you know, these are the these are the trade offs you make. When you get new technology. And you’re working cross you know this where iOS is not truly a Google only operating system. It is it is this weird melange of of trade offs. And you do that when you deal with cross platform issues.
Augusto Pinaud 26:45
What I want to mention of that is exactly what art was saying, you know, because I’ve been also working I lounge, the first part of the Getting Things Done together with Nazi teams. And I am officially now knows became a specialist. And there’s big things coming for 2022. And it’s but one of the things is, I need to get better into this cross plot. So my almost exclusively iPad, only office now had a Chromebook. Because I need to be able to be good at this. So when people have questions or not between knowledge teams, works on any application, how that work, I want to be able to understand that technology. And also for the first time in many, many years, there is a PC on my office, for the same reason, given it’s still a virtual PC, I’m not going to buy hardware. It’s just running inside of the Mac with parallels, but but it’s still it’s a PC, okay, there are no PCs in my office, I think since 2007. So, but the reason of that is being able to respond better to increase, being able to explain where you look where you’d now I can really go and test and respond questions on any platform that you are. Except Linux, dude. I don’t, I don’t know if I’m going to be that that may be 2023. But that’s what it’s been for me. And it’s been a great year. And I’m really looking forward to 2022,
Francis Wade 28:28
I changed my basic equipment this year, a new laptop, new phone. So the year was really about making core hardware changes, because those these are the two devices that use the most and just returning to the former levels of productivity and, and become marginally more effective. Because the laptop is a lot faster, those foreigners a lot faster, has more memory. Second, do a few more things. But I wouldn’t say that that I’ve had a fundamental change in any of my processes. The one thing that did change, however, is the use of one’s hub. So taking a leaf from your notebook and seeing how you use it re I think I had a I had a Calendly account somewhere before but I never really used it. But now I use the thing like I don’t I don’t schedule any meetings without it. And it’s been a game changer. And that’s been the big change that that has the bigger the big convenience, the it’s streamlined all my meetings, it’s it handles the Daylight Savings Time, mess, when things change. It handles the multiple time zones, which I’m always I always have to contend with. That puts the onus on the other person to find a convenient time for them. It keeps meetings when I want them in the afternoons. It’s a game changer. So that’s the big that’s a big shift I made today this year in terms of my processes.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:56
Yeah, I think that I think the calendar schedulers and Next, I really hope that calendar schedulers start to integrate with each other. So that say that you use once hub, I use Calendly. Those two things can talk to each other so that they would, in essence, be able to help speed up the process of being able to schedule and also to reschedule because that’s another thing that I love about once hub is the rescheduling function is just so easy on a number of levels, because I can cancel a meeting within once hub and let people know that they need to reschedule and it takes them to once hub to be able to do so. So there’s a there’s a lot of really nice underlying process there that really can happen. So excited for you that you invested in that in 2021. And looking forward to more productivity success with your calendar scheduling in 2022.
Francis Wade 30:48
I guess I should learn to reschedule because I’ve just been canceling. Yeah, there’s, there’s always a link.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 30:55
No, no, there’s a whole function within once hub for you to be able to cancel a meeting and generate a message to them so that they’re basically facilitated through which means that they don’t actually have to re enter information that they had before. Right. So the title of the meeting and any other information that you’ve tracked from the individual is already in the system. And they don’t need to read put that information in in there, which is really nice.
Francis Wade 31:17
I guess one of the things I really like about one soap is that it’s a citizen leave it kind of software, it’s it, it’s it’s taught, if I went to the site today, I would be amazed at what’s in it because I wouldn’t remember seeing it before because it’s it’s such a transparent activity, it really does take away all of the mess. So I haven’t even been into the backend, I think I went to the backend once once to add to add a new block of potential meetings on Wednesday mornings or something like that. That’s remarkable for a year and a half, for a year or a year of use. I’ve only made one change. And I’ve not been inside it since then. And it provides so much value for the investment of time and money.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:01
Yeah, that is remarkable. And and I the funny part is I approve every meeting or you know, someone on my team does. And so we’re in one sub all the time because of that. And so I think it’s a little bit a little bit different. You’re not approving them, you’re just having them scheduling the times that you’ve set. And so it just becomes an issue of how you use the tool becomes how, you know, helpful it is to go in or not go into the system, but do know that that function does exist. You can you can cancel meetings. Actually, if you just click on the cancel meeting in the, in the event itself that’s created that will take you to once hub and then facilitate you through the process. So every calendar event has that cancellation link in it. And if you Google Calendar, yeah, well, I mean, if you created in your Google Calendar, yes, then it will go ahead and give you that cancellation link. It’ll say like, cancel or reschedule. And even though it’s for the user, when you log in, it’ll recognize that it’s you though the owner, the admin of the account, and therefore you’d be able to go ahead, you have to be logged in, though. So it recognizes that you’re the own rat, but wonderful, good, good, good. All right. So from my perspective, I hosted a Live series of Evernote courses at the beginning of 2021. And they were free to attend. And I was just excited and interested to show people about Evernote version 10. And so most of my 2021 has been getting used to the new version of Evernote and paying attention to the to the very fast pace of updates within the software. And so I taught this beginner course then a course that was focused on productivity systems. And then finally one that was more business focused workflows. And that has really driven me to invest more deeply in my own Evernote workflows before it was kind of background that these kinds of workflows integrated and attached to other software and I wasn’t particularly concerned about them being Evernote forward or you know, Evernote, first workflows. And now I’ve really seen myself using Evernote more and more. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. One is that Evernote Google Calendar integration is just amazing. I just I’m really really happy with it. It causes me to open up Evernote as my first entry point into almost every meeting because I have notes about my my clients and any other meetings that I’m going to take. That’s where the notes are. And that’s where the information is about those people and then to be able to create a note directly from the calendar event inside of Evernote just speeds up the process by which not only am I taking more notes, and I was already a heavy note taker, but now I’m capable of cataloging those notes so much faster capturing action items, both for myself but for others and just really moving moving forward there. The other thing that’s really increased my usage is Evernote home, and I just feel like all the ways in which I have manifested now home As a dashboard for myself, still mostly a jumping off point for me into lots of parts of of my own productivity system, that may mean even leaving Evernote, but it like all the pieces are there. So I know where to jump to, for that thing. I’ve created kind of a legend, so to speak, so that I know, okay, when this is when this is happening, I need to go here and do that this thing in that place. So it may take me to remember the milk or that might take me to Asana or Trello. But now I know where those things are. And Evernote is kind of that master holder of that information for me. And I will note there have been some stability issues with Evernote version 10 and synchronization issues that I’ve experienced over the past year. But they continue to go away they keep getting the bugs have been getting squashed. And that’s been really helpful for me because I get frustrated. And I feel like I’m using this so much more now. And I’m experiencing these little frustrations of not being able to see synchronization or otherwise. But I but now in the latter part of the year, I’ve seen those start to go away, which is just really a testament to the Evernote development team, they’re working very hard to get the program stable, I’m hoping that they can make it faster, because you know, there’s some some speed issues on some of the platforms. So I’m just really looking for stability, speed synchronization improvement, as they as they continue to optimize the existing you’ve put a whole bunch of new features in, right and so that, of course, you move fast, you’re going to break a few things. And I think that’s kind of what happened in the first part of the year. Now they’re really starting to clean up and optimize the platform for greater usage. But that’s been most of my years really just working on these Evernote workflows. And being able to tie them so deeply with the Google ecosystem for me has been really great, you know, since you can now connect, drive and drive documents, Google Calendar documents, and just linking back and forth is just a really easy thing for me plus, I you know, I have Evernote integrated into so many other parts of my world to integrate with Remember The Milk, it’s integrated with Trello. It’s integrated with Asana, it’s just, it’s just everywhere that I need it to be. And so I’m looking forward to utilizing more of Evernote in that way. But this year has really been really all about Evernote for me not that every year isn’t really all about Evernote for me. But this, this is actually a fairly unique year, I don’t think I spent as much time in 2020 as I did in 2021, using Evernote really on a day to day basis the way that I have been. And that’s been a really nice change for me. And I really do feel more productive for to use, because now so many more of my notes are captured in a place that I can I can go back to and I’ve actually stopped using things like good notes, I was taking notes on my iPad inside of good notes by hand quite a lot and then exporting them to Evernote. Because I just wanted the tactile field, especially in 2020. You know, just everything that was going on, I felt like oh, this would be really nice. But now I don’t even I don’t even feel a draw to open up and write by hand inside of good notes. Now, I’m really just going directly to Evernote and just capturing notes in that space. And if I need to draw something, I could do that inside of Evernote also. So you know, it’s just a couple clicks away, that has really made my world so much better in that sense. So if you’ve been thinking about note taking software, not just Evernote OneNote, and many other tools, do this apple notes otherwise, you know, really think through? Are you taking effective notes throughout your world? And is that something that you want to kind of think about leveling up as you make your way into 2022? Alright, let’s do rapid fire 2022 planning items. What are the things that you have upcoming for folks who do follow your work or want to follow your work? What are you doing in 2022? That would be of interest to folks? Aren’t you want to start us off?
Art Gelwicks 38:56
So 2022? What am I planning? Well, 2022 is going to be one of those years again of kind of a bit of a consolidation, but I do have to revisit so I want to push through aside from doing the cross platform in these shows. I’m actively working on putting together a recurring newsletter. Starting from the idea pump site, which I’ve been running forever to try and help people just get access to some of the information, some of the articles I find and curate the feed in a way that it comes to them rather than them having having to hunt it down. So that’s already enabled on the site. Now it’s a matter of making it a regular part of the routine and the content. The second part is I’m starting to explore alternative publishing platforms. Again, I do a lot of my publishing through my own site. But now I’m starting to look at things is it worth for example, putting content over on medium is it worth putting putting content over on LinkedIn? So I’m going to be doing some articles and some experiments in the Different channels to see if I can reach a larger group of people and help them out with a lot of this content, and there’s some smaller platforms that I’m looking at as well for sharing content. So this is going to be at least for the first part of 2020, to a little trial and error to determine what what will work and what will help and what doesn’t, and getting rid of the things that don’t. As for the second part of 2022, who knows at this point,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 40:25
antastic sounds great. I’ve actually been thinking about a newsletter as well, just as a mechanism for being able to have a little bit more one to one relationship with folks, I just feel like the newsletter space is a really good space to be in
Art Gelwicks 40:39
from a productivity standpoint, if you think about it just individually, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time reproducing your same content and distributing it in the same channels. You, you just don’t want to do the rework. So I’ve been looking at a new tool that I’ve embedded into my particular site, because I use WordPress as the back end for it, to automate that piece so that when content is created over the course of a week, it actually queues it all up, puts it together into a newsletter, and then sends it out to the people who have subscribed to it that way. They don’t have to worry about oh, did I see it in Twitter? Did I see it in LinkedIn? Did I say wherever, it’ll just wind up coming and finding them. And I don’t have to go through an extension, extended amount of effort to manually curate all the different locations that needs to go. That’s, that’s been a struggle, honestly, that I’ve been dealing with. And I’m hoping this helps minimize that. So I can focus on the content piece rather than the distribution piece. We’ll see. So it’s
Augusto Pinaud 41:35
interesting, because for me, it’s also social media. So I’m starting to getting back to social media. And I stopped social media, mostly because it felt exactly that feels that I was annoying people so but I decided, okay, let me go back to social media so people can know what is happening. And you can choose the channel, or no channel. And there may be also a newsletter for 2022, most likely for second quarter after I do the revamp of the social media. On top of that, I’m increasing the content for getting things done together with not B teams, and I’m launching, transforming your business with not B teams. So getting things done together is the basic, you know, anybody can use the trend forming. It’s more what I’ve been doing for for a long time that coaching but that coaching for that person who is going to be managed the employees, the organizational productivity in NASPO teams. Also, there is a rumor of a book that I’ve been working on with not be an email, and there is a second book in the project on the basics of organizational productivity. Maybe buying the first PC since 2007. No, I’m kidding. And last one, there is no
Raymond Sidney-Smith 43:04
very cool. Very cool. Looking forward to seeing what comes out in terms of news B and news B teams. Very good there. Francis, how about you what’s coming up in 2022 for
Francis Wade 43:14
you? Well, this year, I found myself consolidating around one message, just it’s kind of new for me in the space. And it’s that what I call the switch, which is that once you get out to the beginner stage, as a productivity enthusiasts, you got to move from getting the advice from generic others, and doing your own diagnosis and understanding what you’re doing right now as the basis for improvement. So this, this has sort of taken over everything I’m doing because I see it as a sort of entry point for people who want to make the most of my book and my training a community and ultimately the task task management and time blocking Summit, which will be reprising itself, or we’re having a reprisal on the third fifth of March 20 22/3, one coming for one running. And most of my year is sort of at the highlight for the year and the rest of the year is spent kind of getting the message or messages I want to get out and also building up speakers and sponsors for the summit. That’s what the next year will probably look like.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:27
Fantastic, fun, fun, fun, lots of stuff to come out. For me, I am going to be really spending a good amount of probably the early part of my year, but I don’t think this will stop in early 2022. But I will be doing a lot of tool integration or tools integration and automation auditing. And what that means is is that I spend a lot of time with my clients working, you know, integrating tools and basically understanding their workflows. And I feel like it’s time for me to do that with my own systems and So, because we all have many, you know, systems and subsystems that are running our world, some of them better than others. And I feel like some of my others need some improvement. And so I’ll be spending some time deciding on how those tools work together. And also how my automations, I’m a heavy user of Zapier, as well as IFFT. And there are many others now that I’ve been adding on to the plate Unito, I’ve been really pushing the envelope of a lot of these other automation tools to see, when I do things, how do they both automate a workflow that is trigger one thing to do another thing to do another thing without me having to intervene, but also how they synchronize that data back to my primary systems. And so this audit, I’m hopefully, you know, will, will give me the underlying analysis and synthesis to be able to say, okay, these are working for me, these are not working for me, and therefore, which ones should I keep? And which ones should I get rid of? which ones should I create a new in terms of building out greater productive gains, you know, I can’t multiply myself. And so the best I can do is to really think through what some of these tools can do in order to increase my output, without me having to clone myself.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 46:18
You know, I think it’s probably both expensive and unrealistic. Certainly 2022, maybe, maybe 2122, I can clone myself, if I’m still alive. But um, yeah, so I’m going to be doing that and, and I’ll Elbert probably be doing just a just a deeper investment altogether. In my workflows across all my platforms, I’m going to be going platform by platform and really choosing what it is that I’m using, what features within those tools that I’m using, and whether or not they are serving my needs. And I have definitely in 2021, kind of hit the upper limit of my overall workload, right, I’ve definitely seen myself max out in different categories of my worlds, I’m like, Okay, I cannot do any more work in this space, I just don’t have enough, you know, time energy resources to deal with these things. And so that has required me to go back and say, Okay, these are things that are going to go, these are things that are gonna stay. And now 2022 will hopefully be a little bit more balanced. And a lot of ways, I’m looking forward to that. And that also means, though, that I need to, I need to more deeply invest in the features of tools, and we’ll just features of tools that are that are serving me well. And so I’m looking forward to doing that. So that’s a lot of my 2022 will be this planning and, you know, changing of tools to make them fit the forward movement of what I want to do, you know, just better, I just want to do things better. And I think I’ve been doing them pretty well so far. But now I want to, I want to kind of level those things up. So that’s pretty much my, my 2222 would be, it’d be a lot of fun. You know, I have a lot of different content, things that I’m thinking about as well. And obviously, we have the forthcoming projects within personal productivity club, that will be a lot of fun. And we’ll announce that when they when they come as well. So that really brings us to the end of our episode today. Thank you, gentlemen, for a lot of fun discussion on what has happened and what’s coming up in 2022. And so I hope everybody got a little bit of fun insight into the things that the ProductivityCast team is doing. And while we are at the end of our discussion, if you have something that you want to share, feel free to jump into the conversation by visiting the episode page on ProductivityCast dotnet. There on the podcast website at the bottom of the page, you can leave comments, you can leave questions. And of course we can read and respond to those there. You can also really, anytime join us in personal productivity club. If you go to productivity cast dotnet forward slash community, you’ll be taken to a page to sign up and join personal productivity club. But by doing that, you will also be joining our channel basically our group inside of personal productivity club dedicated just to ProductivityCast. And there you can comment on episodes you can post concept content, you can post questions that is and ask us questions as you need to. Also note that on the on the episode page when you are in the in the comments. Right above the comments are our show notes. And so our show notes include links to anything that we’ve currently discussed in this episode will also have transcripts both one that’s readable on the page, and downloadable for you to be able to do that as well there. I want to express my thanks to Augusto Pinaud, Francis, Wade, and Gelwicks for joining me here on ProductivityCast. This every week and you can learn more about them and their work by visiting productivitycast.net as well just click on the About Us page and you’ll see links to all of their stuff there. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and on behalf of all of us here at ProductivityCast. Here’s to your productive life.
Voiceover Artist 50:00
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.