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12 Days of Giveaways: The Productivityist Workbook from Mike Vardy (Free Download)



The Productivityist Workbook offers valuable strategies and tools that will allow you to attack your work and life with a more balanced, efficient, and effective approach from the king of productivity, Mike Vardy. You can get this gift right here.

This e-book is ideal for those who are just starting to work on improving their productivity, but it presents ideas for the seasoned productivityist as well. With The Productivityist Workbook: Premium Edition, you’ll get:

  • All formats of The Productivityist Workbook (PDF, EPUB, MOBI)
  • The (PRE)Productivityist ebook
  • An audio program with ProductiVardy podcast interviews featuring Chris Guillebeau, Leo Baubata, Cal Newport, David Allen, and 9 more!

The Productivityist Workbook: Premium Edition has not been offered since the e-book was available for pre-order, but Mike is making it available once again for New Media Expo for a limited time.

But you have to hurry: the 12 Days of Giveaways ends on December 31, and when the clock strikes midnight, The Productivityist Workbook: Premium Edition will go back into Mike’s vault! Get it now here.

7 Best Productivity Apps for Bloggers


bigstock-Blog-824779 One of the biggest challenges with blogging is that it can be time consuming and hard to do when traveling. However, in recent years, thanks to wonderful and inspired app makers, there are now numerous tools available for bloggers which helps tremendously make blogging easy, convenient, and fun! With these productivity apps, blogging has become less complicated and you can get your daily tasks done, even while on the go.

Here are some of the best productivity tools for bloggers:

Blogger and WordPress

For iOS | For Android

Yes, blogging platforms top this list of productivity apps, since they make blogging on the go possible. Blogger is an app created by Google Inc. that makes writing, saving, scheduling, and publishing posts easy. The Blogger app also makes uploading pictures direct from the phone to the blog is very simple.

For bloggers who use travel a lot and who use the WordPress blogging platform, the WordPress app is another ‘must-have’ productivity tool. The interface is very user-friendly if you’re familiar with WordPress, making it easy to blog whenever you have time, even if you aren’t at home in front of your computer.

(Editor’s note: If you’re trying to decide between Blogger and WordPress, check out our post about choosing a blogging platform.)


For Gmail | For Outlook

Have you ever experienced forgetting to send an important email to a client or a boss? Boomerang is the answer. This app allows you to write the email ahead of time. You simply schedule when you want it sent; the app will do it for you. Boomerang can do more! This app is really like your virtual secretary. For example, if you sent an email containing a guest blog post to another blogger, you can set the application to remind you to get in touch with the recipient again if you don’t get a reply.

SEO Tool – Check Site Position

For iOS

For serious bloggers, knowing their search engine rankings is very important, and this used to be a challenge for bloggers who are always mobile or on the go. SEO Tool – Check Site Position provides the answer to this challenge. With this app created by Nopreset, bloggers can now easily check their page rankings wherever they are. It is also convenient to use especially for bloggers who have several domains or websites.


For iOS | For Android | For Mac | For PC

Excellent posts often require lots of research. Researching however, can be very taxing. With memonic, bloggers now have a better way of tracking their research and saving it for later. Using this app, bloggers can effortlessly save any web content with just a click to their online notebook anytime. No need anymore to bookmark a lot of websites and visiting them again and again.


For iOS | For Android

Bloggers who have challenges with too many files found their answer with Otixo, a convenient file manager for perfect for Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and other popular cloud services. With Otixo, bloggers can easily find their files across cloud-based services, and with a single username and password, access these online services with ease. Here’s another thing that many bloggers like about this app: they can easily copy and/or move files from one service to another without the need to download them to their computer. The process is very easy because it’s just drag-and-drop and then it’s done!


For iOS | For Android

Great images make blogs more attractive to readers and visitors. For your not-so-perfect pictures that need editing, Pxilr is the perfect tool. This app is free and it allows the blogger on the go to edit pictures in order for them to fit perfectly to a blog post.

In your option, what are the best productivity tools out there? Do you have any favorite productivity apps that help you blog more efficiently when you’re not at your computer? Share them with a comment below!

Image Credit: Bigstock

My 10 Favorite Tips for Stress-Free Blogging


screaming “I’m a little high-strung.”

Recently, on a way-too-long roadtrip from Pennsylvania to Alabama, I found myself saying this to my boyfriend and co-pilot as we were navigating through heavy traffic on a four-lane highway. I thought he was going to swerve off the road trying to stifle laughter.

“A little? Ya think?”

Okay, I admit it. I’m a planner to the point of obsession at times. I get anxious when I don’t know what’s going on. I like things my way or the highway. I’m easily stressed.

Blogging as a career hasn’t helped with my stress levels. This isn’t exactly a walk-in-the-park-type of job (though few are…we all have our work problems!). Over the years, I’ve learned that only through managing my stress am I able to publish the highest quality content. So today, I wanted to share a few tips on how I personally keep stress about my blogs and work in general as low as possible. I hope you’ll share your own tips in the comments sections!

1. I create a schedule – and stick to it.

One of the turning points in my career was when I began to schedule out my days so I could use my time more wisely. Deadlines (even self-imposed ones) aren’t a big deal if you understand they’re coming and schedule your work accordingly. Scheduling all of my blogging tasks has also shaved time off of my work day and has allowed me to have a better work-life balance, which is always great for relieving stress.

2. I work with people who are reliable and drama-free.

It’s amazing how a single person in you life can make your stress level jump from one to ten. When you’re working with others on guest posts, interviews, etc. always remember that you can say no. Part of the reason why people blog is to get out of the office environment. What’s the point if your virtual “coworkers” are creating just as much drama?

3. I give myself permission to fail.

Listen, no one is perfect. I always shoot for perfection, but when I do fail, I’ve learned that it’s okay. Sometimes there are typos in my tweets. Sometimes one of the links in my post is broken. Sometimes I make a mistake about a fact. I used to get very stressed out about the thought of making a mistake until I realized that they are inevitable. As careful as I am, they will happen. Why stress about something you can’t change? Instead, I focus on being as near to perfect as possible and I brush it off when I fall short of this goal.

4. I change my environment.

I talked about how great a change of scenery can be in a previous post about being more creative, but I think doing this can also help your stress levels. I bought myself some notepads and regularly get writing work done at the beach near my house.

5. I surround myself with people who “get it.”

One of the major mistakes I’ve made is having people in my life (especially significant others) who do not understand blogging at all. One guy even used to call it pointless. Hearing that is not only hard on the soul, but it is also very stressful because you can’t turn to the people in life to vent. My current significant other is not a blogger, but has taken time to learn about it and understand it, and that has made all the difference.

6. I keep a few almost-finished posts on standby.

Like most bloggers, there are moments when I’m feeling extremely inspired. I take advantage of it whenever this happens and crank out 5-10 posts, rapid-fire style. They aren’t perfect, but they’re 75% of the way there. Then, instead of publishing, I stick them away for a rainy day. No more stressing about what to write when I’m feeling uninspired. I pull a post from my file, I do some clean up, and I’m good to go.

7. I think before I commit.

I stress about lack of time and over-committing more than anything else in life, so I’ve learned that with work especially, I need to think about things before I say yes. People don’t take it personally when you need to reschedule or have to say no (at least most of the time – if they do, that’s probably not a person you want in your life anyway!). I always felt like if I said no I would miss out on an amazing opportunity, but its important to realize that being stressed also causes you to miss out on amazing opportunities.

8. I ask for help.

Who here has a hard time admitting it when you need help? I bet everyone’s hands are raised right now. It’s humbling to ask for help, but don’t stress out for the sake of pride. Reach out. Your coworkers, blogging friends, and social followers will jump at the chance to pay it forward.

9. I hire people to do tasks I hate.

What is your state of mind worth? If you hate a certain task that takes an hour per day, can you hire a virtual assistant to do that task? For a few hundred bucks a month, all that stress could be gone. It’s totally worth it.

10. I take time off.

Lastly, I make time for me. Work-life balance is SO important. I really can’t stress that enough. I absolutely love blogging, so I’ve found myself thinking, “It’s okay it I work 100 hours per week because I love what I do!” But that’s not a good way to live. It doesn’t matter if you love it, because you still need time away from blogging and work. If you can’t afford a vacation, you don’t even need to go that far. For example, I’ve now made it a priority to read fiction (or nonfiction if it is not related to work) for at least 30 minutes every night before bedtime. We all need some time away from the blog. Make this a priority in your life.

What do you do to keep blogging (or other content creation work) as stress-free as possible?

20 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Time Management


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Time Management

Blogging takes a lot of work, so it’s no wonder that people with the best time management skills often make the best bloggers. At NMX 2013 in Las Vegas, speaker Craig Jarrow will be teaching us some can’t-miss time management tips in a session entitled “Productivity Power Panel: Learn the Tools, Tactics, & Workflows of Highly Productive Bloggers.” If you want to get started with time management today, though, check out today’s list of Brilliant Bloggers who have covered the topic.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week

Time Management Ninja by Craig Jarrow

Today’s edition of Brilliant Bloggers doesn’t feature a single post – it features an entire site! Craig isn’t just an a-list speaker for NMX; he’s also an awesome blogger. Craig writes at Time Management Ninja, where you can find all sorts of posts on being more productive in your career and at home.

Here are some of my recent favorites:

Remember, check out Craig’s upcoming NMX session to learn how to be a more productive content creator, and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter at @TMNinja.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 25 Time Management and Blogging Tips for Creative People by Riyaz Sayyad (@riyaznet)
  2. A Tactical Guide To Increasing Your Blogging Productivity By 250% by Jason (@methodsem)
  3. Effective Blogging Time Management Tips For Lazy Bloggers by Sadhil Kumar (@mokshis)
  4. How to Blog Almost Every Day by Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan)
  5. How’s your Blogging Time Management by Nikk Parkingson (@stylingyou)
  6. Time Management For Bloggers! by Bosco Anthony (@boscoanthony)
  7. Time Management for Bloggers: Streamline and Maximize your Time Online with Tools by Marcela De Vivo (@marceladevivo)
  8. Time Management Tips for Bloggers by Jasmine
  9. Time Management Tips for Bloggers: The Major Time Absorbers by Korah Morrison
  10. Time Saving Apps for Busy Bloggers by Raul
  11. Tips from the Trenches: Best Blogger Productivity Tools by Darren Rowse (@problogger)
  12. The Top 50 Productivity Blogs (most of which you haven’t heard about) by Leo Babauta (@zen_habits)
  13. Top Productivity Bloggers Share their #1 Tip by Ciara Conlon (@ciaraconlon)
  14. Top Ten Productivity Tips for Bloggers by Harsh Agrawal (@denharsh)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about time management? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Small Business Blogging

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

You're not in the Blogging Military


Give me a break. Give you a break. Sometimes, we all need a break, and doing so can definitely help with your productivity as a blogger. Yesterday, I gave you The #1 Secret to Being a More Productive Blogger, but I think this tip is a close second. Get away from your computer. Relax. Dare I say…chill out, man.

Blogging is serious business to some of us. I get that. If you’re making a living from your blog, you have to take it seriously. Otherwise, you’re totally risking having to move back in with your parents or going back to the corporate world. No one wants that. No one. But, at the end of the day, this is not the blogging military. Sometimes, you have to quiet the inner drill sergeant.

Graduating from Boot Camp

When you first start a new blog, you need to put yourself through boot camp. I don’t mean someone online course that they call “boot camp.” I mean a personal boot camp. You need to be pushing yourself every day to do your best and get things done. There’s a lot of work to do with setting up a blog – website design, posting a group of blog posts to get readers started, setting up social networking accounts, etc. The first few weeks or even months working on a new blog are going to be extremely busy. Continue Reading

The #1 Secret to Being a More Productive Blogger


There aren’t enough hours in the day.*

Even if you give up your boring desk job and become a full time blogger, There’s barely enough time to finish doing the things you have to do, let alone the things you want to do for your blog. If you’re anything like me, you could easily spend every moment for your free time working on your blog – social networking, writing posts, designing the website, emailing readers…the to-do list goes on and on.

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for your other passions or hobbies. I make the joke quite often that with Binge Gamer, I spend more time writing about video games than I do actually playing video games.

Imagine that I could teach you one thing. Just one secret that would make you a more productive blogger. You could make one change in your life, right?

Think what you could do with that extra time. What would you do today, if you had the time?

  • Spend more time with your children
  • Take your dog to the park more often.
  • Go on more dates with your spouse or significant other.
  • Take more vacations.
  • Visit your friends more often.
  • Take a class.
  • Attend community events.
  • Try to take over the world.**

You can also take that extra time and do bigger and better things with your blog. Hell, you can even start a second (or third or fourth…) blog. This one tip can add hours to your day. It worked for me, and I’ve seen it work for my friends after I shared the secret with them.

Have I kept you in suspense long enough?

Ok, here we go. My #1 secret to being a more productive blogger is this:
Continue Reading

Five Ways to Keep Up with all this New Media Crap


So, if you’re reading this, you’re likely a blogger. The idea of a blog probably sounded pretty good when you started – the freedom and flexibility of a low cost publishing platform, whether to promote yourself, your businesses, or maybe you’re paid to blog and promote someone else’s businesses.

But now, you need to Tweet your posts, Retweet other people‚s posts, cultivate your Facebook Fan page, add your photos on the Flickr, submit your posts to Stumbleupon and Digg, record YouTube videos, and comment on other blogs. It’s not smelling like roses anymore, is it? Well, here are a few tips and suggestions for keeping up with all this new media crap (tongue-in-cheek).

Batch Your Work. Productivity gurus have long since said that batching your work is more efficient, and it is true. I use Hootsuite to spend 15 minutes every Monday and setup interesting tweets and Facebook updates for the week. Just like you sit down to read the newspaper, I sit down and go through my RSS feeds and pull out things of interest to others. Batching doesn’t hurt anybody and in fact offers you the opportunity to send out updates at a time more convenient for readers in another time zone than you.

Continue Reading

Online Productivity: How To Work Where You Play


They say that if you do what you like, you’ll never work a day in your life. That statement might be truer than you think – especially if the “where” is online. Online Community Managers, aside for creating excitement around their brands, spend quite a lot of their free time online, too. After a while, many of us find that our work time either eclipses our play time, or that they just bleed into each other and you end up trying to do both at once. And that’s never a good idea. So here are some simple ideas I’ve put into practice over the past few months on how to be productive even if you work and play online! They’re all stuff I picked up from regularly-read blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch – you know, those “How to Be Productive…” type articles. Just a disclaimer: I am an unorganized mess if I don’t give myself rules. So if I can do it – anyone can!

Set Aside Some Play Time

This might sound intuitive, but we all need to be reminded once in a while that we need to set aside play time for ourselves. Many of us have a schedule that’s packed enough that it doesn’t include any down time. Down time needs to be built in to our schedule just like any other activity. Whether it’s spending time with friends and family, or just checking email and writing a blog post, time needs to be set aside if you want to get those things done without having them interfere with your work. Speaking of work…

Have Two Checklists For Work

According to Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, two checklists need to be written up just to organize your work. These two checklists are both work-related but in different ways. One Checklist simply states “To Do: Urgent,” and the other “To Do: Long Term.” This is extremely important. As I mentioned, I’m a mess when it comes to organizing myself on my own terms. SO when I read those tips from Scott Belsky on the Mashable blog, I decided to give them a go. “What’s the harm?” I thought. And not only was there no harm – I became more productive, and didn’t have to remember everything all at once as equally important in my mind!

Here’s a great example: Over this past week, I’ve been swamped with work. I needed to get several Marketing written up, a proposal, and a launch plan for a newly-launching website (launching over the weekend). On top of that, I had to organize a parade appearance on 5th ave during the summer, order supplies for a conference booth for a different company, and arrange for another company to have a spot at the Tribeca Film Festival. This was all on my to-do list in my mind. Apparently, my mind is two-dementional, so I couldn’t just do the things that needed to be done now. I had to work on it all at once and subsequently overwhelm myself!as

After putting everything into lists, I realized that the Tribeca Film Festival can be done next week, the conference stuff had to wait ’till Monday anyway, and the parade arrangements were due Tuesday of next week. So those three went straight to my “Long Term” list, and on Monday, I was going to rearrange my lists to fit the new week! The marketing plans and launch plans all moved over to the “Urgent” list, as we’re going to run our PR campaign on Monday! And that’s it – it became immediately apparent that I should work on the Urgent list first, and then, if there was time, I would move on to the Long Term list!

Have One Checklist For Other Stuff

Now that you have your work priorities in order, and  you’ve done all of the work – or all of the Urgent work, and some of the Long Term work. Now you finally have downtime. You can breathe a huge sigh of relief and relax. But wait – you have errands to run, emails to send, phone calls to make. What now? Where to start?

Well since it’s definitely more relaxing to do your leisure obligations than your work obligations, the Urgent/Long Term stuff isn’t really necessary. In stead, just make a list of things you need to do when you’re not working, and when you have a free moment/hour. Call your wife/hubby! Reply to that email you saw earlier today and jotted down on the list! Check and use Twitter/Facebook for exactly 10 minutes. Whatever’s on your list will more likely get done if it’s on a list than if it’s floating in your head. Feel free to cross it off after you’ve done every single one of them.

Do Not Rely on Separate Tabs/Windows to Separate Work/Play

I don’t know about you, but I am a tab man. I walk in to work and I have at least 8 tabs open before I make my first cup of coffee. Here’s how it used to go: Gmail > Work Email > Twitter > Facebook > Work related website > Digg > Work related site > Joke someone sent me by email. Good luck trying to keep only to your work when your tabs are interwoven, and mostly just play-stuff. Leave the tabs alone. As a matter of fact, leave the separate windows alone. You’re really fooling yourself if you think you’re going to keep organized that way. Instead, think of the windows of time as the organizing units in your day. Once you’re done with the “To Do: Urgent” and “To Do: Long Term” tabs, you can close your “Work” window and open a “Fun” window!


So it ain’t rocket science. All I’ve done to get myself organized is not give myself any credit for remembering/multitasking/organizing. That gave me an airtight action plan to get myself out of the check-Twitter-every-few-minutes, work-on-my-actual-work-sporadically rut!

There’s nothing worse that going home at the end of the day feeling like you did half of the work you could have done, and wondering where the rest of it went. On the flip-side, there’s no better feeling than “I did a ridiculous amount of work today, and I deserve a good chunk of downtime tonight. I think I’ll take my significant other out on a date!”

Bottom line is – you’ll feel accomplished. Try it!

Itamar Kestenbaum is a blogger and Community Manager. He is currently Community Manager for Moishe’s Moving & Storage in NYC as well as Blogworld Expo. You can follow Itamar on Twitter @tweetamar or read his blog: ItamarKestenbaum.com.

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