Producteev LogoI posted a while back about the software in my productivity arsenal, and at the time, I was using Astrid to keep track of my daily Action and Backburner items.  I have a since made the switch to Producteev, and am quite happy with the change for a couple of reasons:

  1. Astrid, while very good at what it does, always felt like it pushed the social aspect of to-do lists a bit too much for my taste. Producteev does have the functionality of assigning tasks to other users, but it’s not as big an element in the interface.
  2. Producteev has a desktop app.  This allows for working on task lists while flying, etc.
  3. There is no iPad app, but the web version is much less buggy on the tablet than Astrid’s.
  4. The mobile apps of both are good, but I find Producteev to be a bit simpler and overall a better user experience.

All in all, both are good at what they do, but Producteev suits my workflow better.  It allows me to have different “workspaces” for life, work, etc; you can also add tags to tasks, which I use to mark things “reference” or “backburner”. It’s free, although there is a paid account for a certain number of collaborators, and available for download on their website, iTunes, and Google Play (yes, there is an Android version).  Stay productive.

Ready for a Chinese Advertising Project? 

Chinese FlagI was recently involved in some advertising efforts for the Chinese market, and quickly discovered that its a whole different world.  Obvious, maybe, but really, China is different.  The particular project I was working with was already a mess, and I was brought in to sort it out.  While cleaning up the rubble, there were several observations I was able to make, so before you jump in to any advertising project aimed for the red giant, here’s a preliminary checklist:

1. You will need to hire a strategist that understands the Chinese market.  I mean, really understands it, with a proven track record.  I don’t pretend to understand the market, but what I can see is that it is constantly evolving and much quicker than what we are used to in the western world (which seems pretty quick in and of itself). You need someone who understands your target market (ie. 25-25 year old women in Tier 1 and 2 cities) and has a finger on the pulse of that market. Continue reading

Pelican Case for iPad 

Pelican iPad CaseIn the past few months, I’ve found myself relying more and more on my iPad, to the point where I’m completely paperless. I recently became paralyzed by the thought of losing or destroying my iPad. Yes, most everything (everything important, anyway) is backed up via Evernote, Dropbox, or some other method. Still, I don’t want to lose it. The main problem is that I cycle to work, and the iPad is along for the ride every day. Given that we live in Brisbane, this means riding home in the rain a few times a week in the rainy season, and there’s always the chance of a spill off the bike. With these things in mind, I decided to step up the case I carry the ‘Pad in.   Continue reading

My Productivity Arsenal 

I think a story like this probably exists for just about any successful project manager. By nature, we have to be fans of productivity both in ourselves and our teams, and to that end, I’ve been a fan of one form of GTD or another for some time, perhaps too much of a fan.  It started with zero-inbox and handwritten notebooks/folders, and life was good.  Slowly but surely, different productivity apps started infiltrating my personal system until I realized I was a slave to them and was wasting time and brain power on them rather than having them free my mind to work on the tasks at hand.  Then a friend in the Singapore office lent me his copy of Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky of Behance, and a perfect storm of re-productivity happened.

I do recommend the book, although if you’re not going to read it, Scott wrote a great summary in an article for Smashing Magazine.  What struck me the most was that I had lost sight of the three “piles” everything should fall into (Action, Reference, and Backburner) through my complicated productivity flow.  I decided to streamline and as an added bonus, go completely paper-less with my note taking.  Here is the arsenal I ended up with, and of course, its a work in progress.   Continue reading

Finally out of Maintenance Mode 

Finally, my site is out of the dread Maintenance Mode. It’s probably been there for the last two years as moving to Australia, getting a job, and then working took the place of getting it done.  I set it as a New Years Resolution, and then promptly went to work out of Singapore for the next few months. I scrapped most of the old content and just left a few posts for content while tweaking things. Hopefully, I can keep a somewhat regular posting schedule, more to keep my thoughts for me, but feel free to have a browse.