January 13, 2009
Tips to Track Tasks
I have several different task lists. I add tasks to my customer database on SalesForce.com. I use Nozbe to keep track of business tasks. I also write out a weekly list of tasks I need to complete. And, finally, I write out my top 3 priorities.
Are you effective at getting your most important tasks done? Or, are you easily distracted? What are you willing to do to improve your effectiveness? Pick one area and work on it!
Here are a few quick tips to track tasks:
- Create different lists for different purposes
- Use software you can access on the web
- Clean up your lists monthly or quarterly
- Focus on your top priorities
Good luck in your efforts to improve your productivity!
December 29, 2008
Time for a Technology Audit
Are you leveraging technology to grow your business? Are you making the best use of the tools you have? Or, are you throwing money down the drain because you're failing to capitalize on your investment in technology?
Many entrepreneurs spend a lot of money on technology, but fail to get a return on their investment. Sometimes, they get drawn into the appeal of a certain technology. Sometimes, they know they need to implement technologies to grow their business. But for whatever reason, they don't follow through to actually make full use of the technology.
So, what can you do to make better use of the technologies that you have?
Take Time to Audit your Technology Tools
It's time to make a list of all of the technology hardware, software, websites and other services you have. Rate each tool on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high. Then, look for duplication in the tools you have. Where do they overlap? What has the most potential?
Isn't it time you got a grip on the amount of money you're investing in technology tools for your business? If you would like to audit your technology tools, I have a Free Technology Audit Template I can email you. Send me an email at Blog(at)ThePDApro.com to request the template. Ask for the Technology Audit Template.
December 22, 2008
Change your Habits, Change your Life
What habits are leading you toward success? Which habits are leading your toward failure?
Do you think you could improve your results if you eliminated negative or unsupportive habits? You bet you could. So why are so few people able to actually change their habits?
In most cases, people just don't have enough motivation to change a habit. They may have tried and failed in the past.
If you want to change your habits, you need a compelling reason to change.
You also need to make a commitment to change. And you need to find someone to hold you accountable.
You Need a Compelling Reason to Change!
If you change your habits, you can change your life.
October 19, 2008
Blogs.com a Great Source for Blogs
Looking for blogs that offer insights and information? Look no further. Blogs.com offers a human-edited view of the blogosphere. You can quickly and easily find blogs by category and topic or read daily blog roundups of some of the best blog content around the Web.
There's even a section for small business marketing. You'll find a list of recent blog posts on the topic. There are also top ten lists of blogs posted by experts. You're bound to find a blog that can teach you something new and valuable. Check it out!
October 13, 2008
Get Ready for Something Big!
There's a lot of gloom and doom news out there, but I predict one year from now you're going to surprised when you look back and see what's happened in your life.
Hang in there! Things will get better. We're in for some exciting changes. Sure, there will be a lot more of the same. But, there will be a lot of new opportunities to get excited about again.
I'm not going to make any predictions about the stock market, except to say that 10 years from now, it will be a whole lot higher.
Technology will continue to provide you the capability to leverage your time. But, remember to value your family and friendships. That's what life is made of.
July 02, 2008
Complimentary Teleseminar - Drive Safe and Talk Safe – Mobile Headset Tips
Do you use a mobile phone while driving? How do you stay productive while driving, but avoid the risk of DRIVING DISTRACTED?!?
Join me for a complimentary teleseminar where I will interview Mobile Headset Expert John Waller on tips to use your phone safely (and legally).
Drive Safe and Talk Safe – Mobile Headset Tips
(And Learn about California’s new Hands Free Driving Laws)
Thursday, July 3rd
12pm Pacific / 2pm Central / 3pm Eastern
Special Guest: John Waller, Mobile Technology Consultant
Owner of Mobile Connectivity
John has been involved in technology since 1987. He started out in alpha numeric pagers, cell phones and digital pagers. He has been selling headset for over 13 years. He is a technology consultant and helps people to be more productive with technology and is a sought after speaker and consultant. He is the Founder of the Silicon Valley Palm Users Group and has been hired by Palmsource to train their employees on their devices. He is currently writing a book on "How to be More Productive in the New Millennium". For more information about Mobile Connectivity, visit http://www.mobileconnectivity.net/
CALIFORNIA HANDS FREE DRIVING LAWS ARE NOW IN EFFECT!
New cellular phone laws went into effect July 1, 2008 in California. The changes are intended to reduce accidents caused by distracted drivers.
VC §23123: Drivers 18 years of age or older are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless a hands-free device is used.
SOURCE: California Department Of Motor Vehicles Web Site:
July 2, 2008 at 02:50 PM in Blackberry, Gadgets, Headsets, iPhone, Mobile Marketing, Palm, Pocket PC, Smartphones, Text Messaging, Travel, Windows Mobile, Wireless Web | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
June 19, 2008
4 Hour Workweek vs. GTD
One of my favorite books in recent years is the 4 Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss. Tim challenges readers to work less and play more, what he calls lifestyle design. Without getting into the details of the book here, I wanted to share a post from his blog.
Responding to a post on Entrepreneur Magazine's blog, Tim writes:
"Despite the disproportionate attention paid to them, personal outsourcing and selective ignorance are just two chapters out of 16 in 4HWW. There is a lot more to information management and intake control in 4HWW (interruption prevention, internal policies, scripts with superiors, etc.) than “batching” e-mail."
This was in response to a comment in the article:
“Timothy Ferriss is focused on outsourcing and not checking e-mail so often. The last time I checked, the amount of e-mail you get is not a function of how often you check e-mail,” [Mark] Hurst says. “David Allen’s approach is a bit of a throwback to a pre-internet age when having complex flowcharts, filing papers and creating tickler items was relevant…”
I thought his post was interesting and gives some insight into different methodologies to stay productive.
June 19, 2008 at 06:22 PM in 4 Hour Workweek, Business, Contact Management, Email, Entrepreneurs, Follow Up, Getting Things Done, Goals, Organizing, Sales, Time Management, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
June 10, 2008
Treo 755P Requires You to Remove Battery for Soft Reset
The Palm Treo 755P requires you to remove the battery in order to perform a soft reset. Amazing! I have the Treo 650 and you have to open the case and then use the stylus tip to reset it. It looks like for whatever reason, Palm engineers figured it would just be easier to have you remove the battery. Okay then.
Palm describes three processes to reset your PDA in the user manual on pages 288 and 289. The soft reset is the least invasive. Then there's the system reset. And finally the hard reset. A hard reset on a Palm PDA will erase all of the data. It's a last resort. If you are not using backup software on the smartphone itself, you may lose data and not be able to recover it.
I haven't had to perform a hard reset on my PDA in a long time. I occasionally have to perform a soft reset. It happens a few times a month. It's not that annoying. But, I worry about having to keep opening the case and removing the battery. It just doesn't seem like the most desirable process. I guess that's another reason to switch to an iPhone (although I have not explored what if any process is used to reset an iPhone).
June 06, 2008
Seth Godin Offers a Lengthy Email Checklist
Author and Permission Marketing Expert Seth Godin offers a great checklist to review before sending email. It's a little impractical to run through the checklist every time you send a message, but I think his point is to make you stop and think about how you use email.
Here is a short sample from Seth's list:
4. Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
8. Aside: the definition of permission marketing: Anticipated, personal and relevant messages delivered to people who actually want to get them. Nowhere does it say anything about you and your needs as a sender. Probably none of my business, but I'm just letting you know how I feel. (And how your prospects feel).
9. Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).
22. Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
Who Want to Get Them
I have to think that some of the items on the list are included for humor's sake alone. But, I think his point comes across loud and clear that people communicate too often through email on things that other people probably don't care about. It's also a great reminder to CYA to protect yourself.
Unclutterer Shares Web-Accessible Project Management Tools
Barbara Beal-Lopez from Brightfarm turned me on to a site called Unclutterer, devoted to providing tips to stay organized. It's a great site with plenty of ideas on how to organize your life and business.
The site includes information on web-accessible project management tools. They mention a few standard tools like Basecamp as well as a few I haven't heard of, including 5pm and @task. 5pm looks pretty slick. I may give it a try. I'm currently using Central Desktop to manage some projects.
May 13, 2008
Upcoming Speech to the American Marketing Association
Niche marketing is all the buzz. Companies want to know how to reach niche markets to increase their profits. Small businesses have been far more successful at niche marketing than larger companies. It's much easier to reach one niche market than it is to reach many. Large companies by nature need to sell more products and services to earn a profit and therefore they end up serving the mass market.
I am delivering a speech on May 14th to the American Marketing Association on Niche Marketing: Stake your Claim to Profitable Market Segments. This is a great topic and I have some timely tips I'll be sharing with AMA members.
To find out more information about how to book Rick for an upcoming conference or event, visit the Speaking section of our website.
May 07, 2008
Celicase Designer Lisa Rodrigues Joins us May 7th on Attracting Ideal Clients Radio Show
Celicase Designer Lisa Rodrigues created a solution for that problem. She created the Celicase, a carryall designed to hold a PDA or smartphone and keep it accessible.
Lisa will join us on our Internet Radio Show Attracting Ideal Clients on May 7th at 3pm Pacific Time. Tune in every Wednesday at 3pm Pacific Time.
Sync your PDA
When was the last time you synced your PDA or smartphone? Most people don't sync often enough and they're asking for trouble. Connect your device to your computer and sync it daily. It only makes sense.
And also be sure you backup your computer. Hard drives have a limited life. You need to backup your files daily to an external media device or back it up online. It's quick and easy to do.
March 31, 2008
What is holding you back? What do you need to do to move forward in your life and your business? Take a moment now and brainstorm a few ideas. Now, challenge yourself! Challenge yourself to take one step to move forward.
February 25, 2008
Google Acquires Feedburner
In another sign Google is taking over the world, they have acquired Feedburner. If you have a blog or a podcast, you should be using Feedburner to understand how many people are subscribing to your content. The fact that Google acquired them pretty much confirms the value they offer customers.
It will be interesting to see how Google leverages the Feedburner platform. Needless to say, there will be more opportunities to get your message out there to a very targeted audience.
February 20, 2008
Make your Life Great!
What steps are you taking to make your life great? One of the leading bloggers on this topic is Phil Gerbyshak with his Make it Great blog. He was recently interviewed by Adversity University Founder Stephen Hopson.
During the interview, Stephen asked: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Given? Phil responded:
"The best advice I’ve ever gotten is “Play full out. All the time. Leave it all on the table, and go home tired.” This gift was given to me in various ways, at various times in my life, from various people, and it sticks with me and it defines how I live."
"In addition to the best advice I ever received, I’d add this to make it even more impactful: “Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you respond to it.”"
Phil is a class act and a downright genuine guy. He is extremely successful and influential as a blogger. For the complete interview, click here.
What steps are you taking to create visibility on the internet? If you're interested in finding ways to attract your ideal clients, visit our new blog, Attracting Ideal Clients.
February 16, 2008
Amazon Launches a New Wireless Reading Device
Amazon has launched an intriguing new device called the Kindle. It's an ebook reader with wireless access. It not only allows you to read books though. You can also read newspapers and blogs. Given the huge trend toward going green, I think a device like this could catch on.
I'm curious to hear from anyone who has tried the device. What's amazing is that the wireless access seems to be free. They appear to be covering their costs through book sales. It will be interesting to see if this thing takes off. Could a device like this have the same kind of appeal as the iPod when it first came out? I suppose only time will tell!
February 08, 2008
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like you just can't get ahead? Sometimes life is challenging. And if you fall behind it can be hard to catch up. Those are all symptoms of overwhelm. So, what can you do to get back on track?
When life gets you down, it's really important to just start simplifying and breaking things down. Most people over-complicate life. I know. Because I'm one of those people. I have too much of everything. I have to remind myself to continue to simplify. Reduce the number of physical possessions you have. Reduce the number of financial accounts you have. Reduce the number of email newsletters you subscribe to. Reduce the commitments you have.
At some point, you have to start saying no to things. At least until you can get your head above water. You didn't get into a mess overnight. And you won't be able to solve it overnight.
The best way out of a mess and the best way to overcome overwhelm is to simply start taking baby steps. Create a task list for things that will help to clean up the overwhelm. Take some time to brainstorm creative ideas to simplify things.
You can do it. You can clean up your messes and overcome overwhelm. Just simply start taking some baby steps and you'll begin making progress and feeling better.
For additional ideas to work more productively and effectively, listen to my FREE audio series, the 12 Days of Productivity.
Rick Cooper, The PDA Pro
February 07, 2008
Launched a New Blog Called Attracting Ideal Clients
Want to grow your business? I have launched a new blog called Attracting Ideal Clients. This blog is for small business owners, especially service professionals, who want to grow their business by attracting their ideal clients. More on this in a moment.
If you've read The PDA Pro Blog for awhile, you know that I cover a wide range of topics. I post on productivity, technology, sales and personal development topics. I'm passionate about helping people live productive and effective lives. I just love seeing people in their element, working smarter not harder. That's fun. What's not fun is feeling disorganized and overwhelmed. That's leads to procrastination and avoiding what you need to do.
In my business, I spend much of my time working with home-based service professionals. That includes coaches, consultants, virtual assistants and professional organizers. I love the entrepreneurial spirit. It's fun to launch a business and see it take off. Of course, owning a business is risky. And it can lead to a lot of additional stress.
My value system reflects my philosophy on building long-term relationships. And I've found the best relationships in business come from working with your ideal clients. This is the basis for building a successful referral based business.
and They Will Seek You Out!
And so it's with that concept that I've launched a new blog, Attracting Ideal Clients. There's a push/pull nature to marketing. Marketers often push their messages onto people. And that's effective to a certain extent. But, it's more effective when you can pull or attract your ideal clients to you. They will SEEK you out. That's really powerful!
And it's easier than ever to do this today using the internet. But, it takes a lot of work and you need to know what you're doing. I'm still refining my own approach. But, I have always jumped on top of any opportunity to get my message out there and attract people to what I'm doing.
So, Attracting Ideal Clients, is focused on teaching you how to identify who your ideal clients are, learning where to find them, what to say to them, and how to begin building a relationship with them that ultimately leads them to ask to be a client. But, it's not just about how to use the internet. I'll discuss mainstream topics like writing articles, teaching workshops and teleseminars, making phone calls, sending cards and networking more effectively. It's all of the things you can do to communicate your message and attract your ideal clients.
Yes, you still need to be able to sell. But, focusing on attracting your ideal clients will create an endless stream of leads and referrals. So, check it out and post a comment. The site is pretty slim at the moment, but I will add to it over time. Thanks!
Rick Cooper, The PDA Pro
February 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM in Business, Coaching and Consulting, Contact Management, Entrepreneurs, Follow Up, New Media, Relationship Marketing, Sales, Sales Productivity, Social Networking, The PDA Pro | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
February 06, 2008
How Do You Feel About Technology Right Now?
I constantly have a love/hate relationship with technology. I have way too many technology tools to support me in my personal life and in my business. Most of the time, things are humming along. But occasionally, I just feel out of sync with the technology tools I'm using. Do you ever feel like that?
Please post a comment and let me know what you love about the technology tools you're using, and what you hate!
Rick Cooper, The PDA Pro