Using A Cafe As a 2nd Office Can Boost Productivity

When working from your home office or regular office just isn’t cutting it anymore, try working from a cafe to give your brain a change of pace and get things done. It’s a good change of pace and the scenery can potentially unlock your rather creative and great ideas.

Using A Cafe As a 2nd Office Can Boost Productivity

Having a home office is great, but sometimes it’s just a place where you can’t get any work done. Whether it’s the kids, pets or constant feeling of being too cozy and unproductive … getting to a ‘work’ environment can certainly help you get things done. Same goes for when you work in a office regularly. If you’re getting constant interruptions, have toxic (to productivity) people around or even simply can’t concentrate in that office of yours: an cafe can be a rather welcome respite.

You should try going to cafe to work when:

  • You’re constantly distracted at your current work place.
  • Can’t seem to concentrate.
  • Need a change of pace & scenery.
  • Need a break from the “office life”.
  • You need to be alone for a while.
  • Looking for a place to get some new ideas.
  • You’re trying to get some inspiration.
  • You want to write or program and need some background activity/noise to get in the “flow”.

This isn’t a place for everyone though. A have a few friends who simply get overly distracted at a cafe and would much prefer a library or even their own cubicle. For me, and many others, the cafe is a welcomed getaway from the usual riffraff of the office.

At this cafe I’m able to work completely uninterrupted and more importantly, because I’m accustomed to writing and focusing on work at a cafe I’m able to get a lot of work done here as opposed to my office. I’ve gotten too comfortable in my office and there are way too many distractions. So instead of being bombarded by distractions and people, here I sit at a cafe writing this article in peace.

There are a few things to remember when trying to work at a cafe though:

  • Most likely, the noise will be annoying so bring headphones.
  • Charge your laptop and phone. Not every place has easily accessible power outlets.
  • On that note: bring power cables for the important stuff.
  • Be a good patron: support the cafe you’re going to spend several hours in by at least buying a drink.
  • Bring paper and pen/pencil so that you can write out ideas.
  • If wifi is questionable, prepare for that: bring a backup internet source (tethering through your phone is a possibility) and take as many resources/materials as you can (a large USB key or external hard drive are prefect for this).
  • Try not to take too many things with you. A heavy bag isn’t fun to drag back and forth.

Now get out there and get stuff done! Though let me know, what do you guys think of working from a cafe?

WordPress Auto Updates – Configure, Enable Or Disable Them

WordPress Auto Updates help with productivity by automates the little things which are (most of the time) time wasters for the majority for us. Recently, WordPress Auto Updates were enabled for minor core updates, though other functionality is not automatically enabled by default. Let’s learn how to turn it on or off and the options we can set.

When the WordPress team came out with the major version 3.7 a while ago, it added an absolutely great feature to it: automatic updates. Though these updates where limited to minor versions of WordPress. A major version update is like going from WordPress 3.7 to 3.8. A minor version updates generally center around light bug fixes, security updates and some code cleanup. A minor version update goes from something such as WordPress Version 3.8 to 3.8.1.

So while minor versions will by default be automatically downloaded and installed, major versions won’t. Though neither will plugin nor theme updates.

In this tutorial I’ll go over:

  • Where to make these changes
  • How to disable automatic updates completely
  • How to enable major version automatic updates
  • How to enable plugin automatic updates
  • How to enable automatic theme updates
  • How to disable core update only
  • Plugins to use to help with automatic updates

Where to make the WordPress Auto Update changes

In the folder where you installed WordPress, since the ‘wp-config.php‘ file. This is the file you’ll be editing. Add any one, or combination of settings that you see below at the bottom of the wp-config file

Disable automatic WordPress updates

Enable automatic major version updates

Enable automatic plugin updates

Enable automatic theme updates

Note: Automatic WordPress theme updates only works when you downloaded a theme from the WordPress repository. If you download the theme from a place like ThemeForest, or have a custom made one: the setting below won’t do anything for you sadly. You’ll have to update paid themes manually still.

Disable automatic WordPress core updates

WordPress plugins to help with automatic updates

First, is the free option:

And there are a few paid options:

More info

You can find more information at the WordPress codex: http://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Automatic_Background_Updates

Single Best TODO List Manager Of 2012 (And Forever)

The best TODO list manager of all time

There are so many TODO list manager out there that it’s hard to tell which is good or bad or even worth using. But this here is one that is not only the time tested champion of TODO lists, it’s overall ranked the best (there was a Lifehacker post about it, but I don’t remember where) TODO list manager … ever! So watch the video and let me know what you guys and gals think.

Install Pandora One Desktop App On Ubuntu Linux

pandora_app

Pandora is a great music service; Pandora One happens to be the paid version of Pandora. There are pluses to each version depending on your needs, and this post isn’t about which version is better so I won’t go into it. Though if you are interesting in what Pandora One offers click here to read about it on the official Pandora site. One of the big things in Pandora One is that you can use their desktop application instead of the website. This really is personal preference again about which one you think is better, but the point is that you CAN use it in Linux (not just Ubuntu Linux). Read on to find out how you too can enjoy Pandora One on you (Ubuntu) Linux installation.

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Top Daily Productivity Tip: Keep A Journal

Time management is a topic so tough and gargantuan that it requires specializes courses at colleges like Harvard and MIT just to understand the basics. For those of us who cannot afford (in money or time) to go study productivity and time management we’re gotta help each-other out and figure it out ourselves.

So recently I was doing a quick browse through Lifehacker and this jewel caught my eye. It’s more powerful than most people realize. So, let me start out my saying this isn’t an original idea, so it wasn’t thought up by me nor the Lifehacker peeps. But it sure as hell is a good one.

The idea is simple: Use a daily log (a time sheet) to keep track of what you work on and when!

See! The idea is simple, and if you hold any sort of day job (other than self-employed) you already know the ‘fun’ that is the hourly Time-sheet we all had/have to submit.

To outline the Lifehacker post for you:

  • In Windows, use notepad to keep a daily activity log
  • Review the log … daily!

They also offer a few short-cut tips to working with a daily ‘log’ file with Notepad.

The benefits of using a daily log:

You might be thinking “well wait, why on earth would I want to do something so time wasting?” Fair question. But this isn’t wasting time.

This lets you know, if done correctly, exactly how much time spend on actually productive tasks and how much of that time is spent mucking about.

I don’t have a file to show you yet, since I just started using it right before writing this post, but I can already see it’s benefits. So far I’ve spent about 15 minutes thinking and writing this post (up to this line) and about 20 minutes looking for a few ‘extra’ tips and tricks to add here. So, the actual productive time in writing this post so far is about 16 minutes.

EK! I already know I have trouble focusing, so see’ing how much time I waste on other things can (and will) surely help both of us concentrate on the things that need to be done.

Remember, when you are your own boss you really have to command and boss yourself around.

With a daily log, you’ll be able to see:

  • How much time to spend actually working
  • How much time to waste on ‘other’ things
  • When you work the most/best
  • How much time is spent dilly-dallying (ie: mucking about and not working)

All of this will keep a log for you and allow you to analyze yourself and your work habits. Is there something that keeps distracting you? At a certain time maybe?

As the Lifehacker post also recommends: “review your daily log!”

Keeping a daily log doesn’t do much good unless you periodically review it. Personally, I like to use Notepad directly to add my notes so I can see what I’ve accomplished recently—you’ll be more motivated to accomplish something useful if you’ve gone through half the day without getting anything done that’s worth writing down.

It’s also a good idea to add a reminder to your calendar to periodically check through your log and see what you’ve actually accomplished for the week, or month, and then check the completed items on your to-do list. It’s a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your to-do list, and help you tune things for higher productivity.

Timestamps with VIM/MS Office/OpenOffice

If you do not want to use Notepad (or can’t/want … like me) you can use the awesome ViM text editor. You can even do this with MS Office or OpenOffice.

ViM Timestamps:

If you don’t know what ViM is, don’t worry you can skip over this section.

In ViM there are several ways. You can download a plugin for it, but I don’t recommend it. It was a bit weird. So here is the most recommended and probably the simplest way:

  1. Open a new file
  2. Type the following command in Linux:      :r! date
    1. This will run the date command which returns the time and date
    2. Feel free to add commands and output options like through a normal command line
  3. Type the following command in Windows:      :r! date /t or   :r! time /t
    1. Both ‘should’ work, but just the date /t should be fine.

That will add a timestamp on the current like. If you want to learn more about ViM stampstamping and stuff like that check out this nifty page at a ViM Wiki site: Add current date and time in ViM

Also, to make this easier, it’s probably a good idea to add it to a macro.

To add a ViM macro:

  1. Exit out of editor mode in ViM, so that you are in the default command mode.
  2. Press ‘q’ … simply press the q key. Then press any letter (or number) on the keyboard to bind the command to. For example, I used ‘t’. So I pressed ‘q t’. Meaning, I pressed the q-key and then the t-key. (NOT AT THE SAME TIME). This starts recording the macro.
  3. Enter the desired command (:r! date)
  4. Press q again to stop recording

To use the new macro:

  1. Since we bound it to the t-key (though we really could have bound it to any ‘normal’ character key), to use it we press ‘@ t’.
    1. Press shift-2 (this is the @), then press the t-key
    2. Do this in the command mode (ie: the default mode).

MS Office timestamps:

  1. Go to Insert -> Date & Time
  2. Click ‘Adjust/Update Automatically’
  3. Insert one time/date.
  4. Next time just press this key combination to insert a new time stamp (all at the same time): Alt-Shift-t

Open Office timestamps:

This one isn’t as nice and easy. But there is always the Insert-> Date & Time method. Though I think it’s called something like Insert->Special … or something. I haven’t been in there for a while.

But, I did find this. An extension for OO to help! I haven’t checked it out but it might help ya’ll. http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/taxonomy/term/70

Did you like this tip? Let me know! What other simple yet effective tips do you all know that helps keep your organized?

(image from ihazcancheezeburger website with cats!)

Automatically Tweet When You Make A WordPress Blog Post

Tweet Whenever WordPress Blog Post Title There are so many social media ‘things’ we have to manage these days that it can be rather tiresome and painful JUST to get one message out to everyone. Well, when you make a blog post now you won’t have to suffer as much because there is a easy way to have your blog automatically make a Twitter post for you automatically!

This great plugin is called “Twitter Tools”. This is a constantly maintained WordPress plugin which will do just that: make a tweet for you whenever you make a new post.

Not a big deal right, why would you want something like that? Twitter’ing isn’t hard! Yeah but think of it this way: if you schedule a lot of posts are you REALLY going to remember to go and manually make a tweet about every schedules post? Probably not. It’s also great for scheduling posts and tweets when you’re out on vacation so that people don’t forget about you! :)

In the post you’ll also find small quick tip on how to add personalized tracking to Twitter Tools (which isn’t available by default). You’ll find it at the bottom of the post.

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Internet Marketing Interview With Terrie Wurzbacher

Piotr Krzyzek InterviewI had the great privilege of being interviewed by Terrie Wurzbacher of Getting Unstuck LLC. I must say that was a very new and interesting experience for me! It was my first interview ever and we covered a whole slew of topics.

We covered:

  • Me
  • More me
  • Getting unstuck in life
  • What internet marketing is REALLY like. Trust us, it’s not what all those ‘gurus’ say it is. It takes work!
  • Great tips for getting your foot in the door with Internet Marketing
  • Biggest challenges for new internet marketers
  • Randomness!
  • and some info about my latest upcoming Facebook fanpage guide (for businesses).

It’s well worth the listen. But don’t take my word for it. Inside you’ll learn a bit more about me and Terrie, and a whole lot about starting off with internet marketing. But please go easy on me. It was my first interview and I was scared out of my mind the whole time :) And yeah, I did blank a few times.

That’s life people. It takes work, some balls and effort. Even internet marketing. This interview proves that with even a little bit of effort each day you can move forward in life. Terrie and I both really enjoyed the interview, and we both you do to.

Let us know what you thought :)

Listen to the interview below:

My Daily Traffic Dropped And I Don’t Care

Why blog hasn’t been doing too well lately. Why? Because I switched business models. I’m not a hotshot internet marketing ‘guru’ who gets 1,000,000 page views a day. I’m happy when I get more than the previous day. Well, as you can see from the picture above that isn’t always the case AND lately it’s been going down.

Why has is been doing down? Because I left it completely alone for over a month. I’m a struggling Master’s Degree student, my master’s is due soon and I need money to pay the rent (and buy food). In that time, my website got a few extra backlinks from several forums (made by people who found some computer answers) including the nice high PR Nvidia forum (woot!) … hence the spike on the left side.

But here was my problem: I gave away everything for free and that’s what users expected. I don’t exactly care to do that anymore, well not completely. Read on for why!

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