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Productivity

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So what’s the “secret sauce” of Balsamiq Mockups? That’s what I set out to find out in Balsamiq Interviews (available today, free download) – a set of 9 interviews of cheerfully rabid Balsamiq fans. The secret is this: Balsamiq affords a new kind of communication and interaction for UX experts, designers, developers, project managers, startup founders and money guys. All of these people wrestle every workday to express the rightness of intangible ideas. How do…

Want to know the single biggest problem with every single GTD system in existence? They don’t enforce specificity when defining a task. Tasks, (unlike checklists which can be semantically reduced to a single word  – “milk”), require, demand, beg for as much specificity as you can muster. What catches most people, most of the time, is that our To Do lists are a mix of things we’ve done countless times before and already know how…

Two of my favorite tools for managing my startup are Evernote and Followupthen.com. You’ve heard of Evernote – the in-the-cloud information storage for practically every kind of non-databased information in your life. Followupthen.com is a nifty service that will send you, or someone, or both of you reminder emails, free. Since you can now share an Evernote note via email, and you can send that email to future self via Followupthen, you have a powerful…

Whether it’s the latest set of Heroku commands or alternative revenue models for your startup, you need one place to store all the vital bits, ideas, and decisions. I recommend Evernote. While there are lots of alternatives (Wikis, Circus Ponies Notebook, plain text files, etc), Evernote gives you a set of nice features (versioning, formatting, device ubiquity, robust search) that no other single app has. Here’s a list of what I have in my Evernote…

(A while back I’d planned to launch a new productivity site, ProductivityToDo.com, but it makes more sense to fold that effort into 47Hats. So, here’s the first of a series of posts on tools and services for improved online productivity. Note the .pdf download at the end of the post! :)) The more people you interact with in, the harder it is to remember to follow up with them. Enter FollowUpThen.com (FUT) – an elegant…

By Mark L. Smith, Co-Founder www.DigMyData.com Momentum is the life blood of a startup. Nothing gums up the works and kills momentum like scheduling difficulties — timezones, multiple availability schedules, holidays. It’s a wonder sometimes that anything gets scheduled at all. We absolutely love our product vision at DigMyData and we love using our own tool to tell our business stories. As a result, we schedule a lot of meetings with people all over the world to both pitch…

For as many years as I’ve had e-mail, I’ve tried to keep my inbox empty. First it was because I liked neatness, then because David Allen’s GTD mandated it, and then because Merlin Mann came up with some excellent techniques for keeping your inbox empty. The problem is, the problem has gone from out-of-control to beyond my control. I think it’s actually now beyond anybody’s control. It’s like trying to keep the sea from washing…

Having written a GTD-centric app for Windows, interviewed David Allen more than a few times and being more than a little, well, obsessed, with productivity, I’m trying something new out this weekend, and it’s looking very, very good: http://www.smartytask.com. I’ve been using Things from Cultured Code on my Mac, iPad and iPhone for while, but have become increasingly dissatisfied with it. It’s great software, but it’s a size 10 handcrafted shoe and I take a…

I tend to write books when something in my life is very painful. My first book was dealing with the pain of all those non-programming things you have to do to sell commercial Windows desktop software; my last was getting my head around what a bootstrapping web startup needs to do. The pain I’m feeling right now is huge and growing sharper day by day. Social media, Internet disruption, the Media Tsunami, infinite information and…