Productivity Is My Theme for 2017 – What’s Yours?

Productivity Is My Theme for 2017 – What’s Yours?

This year is set to be one of the most productive years yet for me and my business. Late last year I decided to start moving my business forward which I’d been neglecting slightly due to the amount of client work I’d been tasked with. I have been so lucky these past 5 years that my business has grown from strength to strength. But one downside of this is I struggle to find the time to work on my business.


I was given a challenge last year by one of my great clients, Phil from Positive Sparks, on the podcast we do together each month. He knew that I had been wanting to publish an eBook and I’d told him about my plans to update my eBook Marketing eCourse and publish this as a Kindle eBook. I’d been meaning to get round to it for ages… but it was just something I kept putting to the back of the queue behind everything else. Phil pushed me to do it because he made me accountable to the podcast audience! In September I decided that I had to get this done before the end of the year.

I tasked my great graphic designer Ryan to design me a cover and my wonderful writer James to go over it and make some improvements to my writing (basically editing it). It all came together just after Christmas and it went up on Amazon Kindle as a pre-order ready for the New Year. It was published on the 9th January and has been fairly high up in some of the Kindle store categories since then. I already have 5 reviews, all 5 star!

The eBook is aimed at newly self-published authors who want to get a head start in marketing their books. Having worked with many many self-published authors over the last 5 years I understood that they needed most help in this area, so doing the eCourse was my way of helping them out for free. Now I’ve published the book I hope that it will help a lot more authors get on with their marketing.


But back to the productivity. I came across Mike Vardy before Christmas, he runs The Productivityist… I took his online course through Todoist (my new project management tool of choice) and found that I really liked some of the ways he worked. I also learnt some great new things I can do with Todoist to make my days more productive. I spent a good few weeks following Mike and really taking on some of his ways of working. The one thing which has helped me enormously is to theme my months. You can read a recent article from Mike here about his year in preview and how monthly themes work.

I themed January as ‘My eBook’ – that meant I chose to spend my free business time on my newly published eBook. That covered things like marketing it, getting reviews for it and generally finding ways in which I can get the word out there. I have had a fair amount of success, but I feel that just having that month concentrating on one goal really helped me get things done.

In fact January was a great month for me, I earn’t the most I’ve ever done in one month (in 5 years), got my eBook published and I have also been #1 of #811 on The Executive Secretary Top 250 Social Media Power List for two consecutive weeks! Not only that, I also helped #MicroBizMattersDay trend on Twitter (with my VA helpers) for pretty much the whole event on the 13th. I felt I needed a treat, so I bought myself a Fitbit, it’s very rare that I buy something just for me.

So back to monthly themes… my theme for February is going to be the eCourse (and also to create my new home office). I am going to use the eBook to get the eCourse updated, there is no point in having an out of date incentive on my website! As for the office, I have a lovely mezzanine area in my house which is currently where the cat hides from the dogs and does most of his living. This is the second warmest room in my house in winter, so I am going to totally redesign it and create a fab workspace with a reading nook (for the cat mainly, but for me too!). I will be taking photos when I get started so I can share the transformation.

I already have a theme for March, but that’s some news I’ll share with you later on.


My Facebook group has also been growing and we’ve even had some app/tool founders popping in offering our members a chance to try out their new apps/tools. The monthly podcast I do with Phil has also been great, and the last one we did in January I was really excited about my latest app Blinkist. I paid for this app, which I hardly ever do, so you can see how much I like it. Blinkist has over 1500 non-fiction books available to read, but in short bursts (blinks)… so you get the entire book in something you can read in about 15 minutes. I have been devouring books most nights and learnt so much, my library of books to read gets bigger every day!  You must check it out if you want to read but don’t have time to.

Productivity is my theme for the whole year… what’s yours?

Review: 31 Days of Twitter Tips

5 out of 5 Stars

I love eBooks like this and I was excited to get the chance to download the eBook for free so I could review it for Becky Robinson, the author, of Weaving Influence.

Having been on Twitter personally since 2009, and then as a business since 2011 I was interested to see what sort of tips Becky had come up with in the book.

I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of information contained in the eBook, the contents alone give you lots of ideas before even reading the rest of the book:

Finding Your Why
Reviewing/Optimizing Your Twitter Profile
Installing a 3rd Party Application/Installing a 3rd Party Application to your Mobile Device
Creating Twitter Lists
Following and Contributing to Trending Topics
Direct Messaging
Finding New Connections
Searching for Customers
Searching for Thought Leaders
Exploring Hashtags
Setting Up Auto Follow Backs
Creating a list of tweets
Tweeting your own blog posts
Showing off Your Best
Sharing Something Off-Topic
Follow Friday
Embracing Serendipity
Getting to Know Someone New
Making an Introduction
Deepening a Connection
Giving – promoting others
Surprising and Delighting
Saying Thank You
Experiencing #TWIRL

A Note About Twitter and Numbers
Should I Have More than One Twitter Account?
Getting Started Guide
How to Add People to Lists
31 Day Twitter Tip Challenge

Becky has done a great job, everything explained in the book is easy to follow and understand.  It’s aimed at Twitter beginners, but there are plenty of tips in there for more experienced Twitter users.  

I use Twitter a lot and many of my clients come via Twitter, especially for my eBook formatting service.  I was surprised to find a few tips which I’d not really thought about before, so I’ll be looking at implementing those in the near future.

I think for Twitter beginners this is the perfect way to start your tweeting career, in the Appendix you’ll find all the information you need to create a profile and how to start following people and creating lists (something I wish I had done when I followed a handful of people – it’s a much bigger job now!).

You’ll also find the 31 Day Twitter Tip Challenge at the back of the book, using just 12 minutes per day.  As an incentive to take the 31 Day Twitter Challenge, they will send you another resource, the 12 Minute Media Strategy and Branding Playbook (a $57 value) to help you extend your influence — as a thank you gift.

If you’re looking to spend less time on Twitter but getting more from it, then this is the book for you.  I would definitely recommend  getting a copy of this and working through it.

The eBook is $7.99 and available to purchase at the 12 Minute Media website.

Exciting News & 11 Articles I have Read Today!

I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  After weeks of work, a holiday and getting used to entertaining the demands of a new puppy I am starting to see the wood from the trees.  I can now continue to spend my time building my business, getting back to social media, my blog and most importantly entertaining YOU!


First and foremost, I have some exciting news… well it’s exciting to me!  As I have been so successful in the eBook formatting side of my business, I decided to purchase a couple of new domains, and At the moment they both reach my eBook formatting service page on this website, but very soon, in a matter of weeks they will point to my brand new website dedicated to eBook formatting. I managed to find a few testers out there to have a sneak peek and give me some feedback, which has been a great success as they came up with some important points.

I haven’t decided on a launch date yet, but I will be hosting a great giveaway on that day… so be sure to keep an eye on my blog here so you can come and take part.

Great Content

I wanted to give you some great content to read today, so while sitting after lunch and flipping through Flipboard (one of my most used iPhone apps), I decided it would be a great idea for a blog post to share with you the articles I have picked out today to add to my Buffer (again, another overused app).

Here they are, in no particular order… I hope you find them interesting, these should be popping up on my Facebook page, LinkedIn profile or Twitter soon, so you’re seeing them in advance!

10 Ways Leading Brands Use Facebook Ingeniously For Their Marketing  via @JeffBullas

Smashwords Acquires 100,000 New ISBNs

WordPress for Beginners: The Best WordPress Tutorial Blogs via @danielscocco

75 Tips to Manage Your Social Media Efforts in 2012

12 Revealing Marketing Stats About Facebook for Business

A Detailed Anatomy of the New LinkedIn Company Page Design

Social media – the new cure all pill or not? via @LilachBullock

How to Create Your Self-Improvement Plan

The Five Laws Of Micro Business Success via @MicroBizHub

A Comprehensive Guide to Formatting Your WordPress Posts and Pages

3 Ways to Create Highly Valuable Blog Content

Remember, I’m hosting a giveaway soon to launch my new website… a great way of staying in touch is by signing up to my RSS feed, or following me on Social Media.