Email Overload: Download a Free Copy of David Allen's Email Rules

Getting Things Done

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Having problems managing email?

David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and inspiration for a lot of posts ’round these parts, gives away a free four-page PDF at his website that covers his basic principals for keeping email organized. Getting specific without going too in-depth, he explains the ‘two minute rule,’ why action-able emails should be kept separate from others, and why creating your own system—such as Gina’s [Trapani’s] modified ‘Trusted Trio‘. Great reading for GTD neophytes, and a good brush-up for the rest of us.”

Click here to get your copy! If you’re a Gmail user [and I hope you are] there’s more information here on how to use Gina’s system with Gmail or Google Apps mail.

Me personally? I use Gmail and Google Apps mail in conjunction with Remember The Milk [RTM]– the powerful task manager with the equally funny name. RTM gives me special tools to use within Gmail that allows me to convert an email to a task. In all fairness, Google now includes this feature in their task management system, however, it was not available when I built my approach to task management…

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Consume, create, communicate

John Jantsch
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John Jantsch recently wrote on the topic of “Profiting from other people’s content”. He says…

“Don’t be alarmed by that title — I’m not talking about stealing content for gain, I’m talking about adding the filtering and aggregating of content to your content consumption, creation and sharing routine.

Pretty much everyone has bought into the idea that they need to produce lots of valuable content in order to build the trust and search engine eyes of today’s online prospect. One way to supplement your content strategy while still providing lots of value, is to get good at finding and filtering other people’s content that your prospects and customers will find useful as well. (Done right, the other people will thank you for giving a wider audience to their content).

It should go without saying that giving credit to the original source and full attribution to the author when appropriate is a must.” Source: Profiting From Other People’s Content | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

John talks about “consumption, creation and sharing routine” — my mantra is ‘listen, publish, promote’ which is a little more elegant in my book but we’re both trying to say the same thing and use an alliteration in the process. If I were John, I might go for ‘consume, create, communicate‘ — in fact, I might start using that instead. Either way, the point is that gathering good content effectively and commenting on it is a great way to build your personal brand. I’ve been using this strategy for years — most recently, I amped it up by using Posterous [another tool that John advocates] and saving more content directly to my blog instead of shared bookmarks as I used to do. Here are the results:

I think the results are really quite good for an ‘army of one’, don’t you? I do all my ‘creation and communication’ as a result of my daily ‘consumption’ — because my system is easy to implement and use, I work it frequently. I call quoting other sites ‘curation’ and my rare original thoughts ‘creation’. The curation works to draw people to my creation. Does it work? You betcha [you’re reading this, aren’t you?]. The average person drawn into my blog through effective communication reads 3.3 pages and spends 2:52 minutes on the site, while only 4.75% ‘bounce’ to another site. Over 71% are new visitors…

Jantsch goes on to give three tactical implementations of his ‘profiting from content’ suggestion. They are…

Make yourself a better resource

Creating a habit of filtering content related to your industry, products, competitors and customers will make you better at what you do, allow you to keep up with trends and give you data to help you build deeper relationships with customers.

Share content to draw attention

Pointing out useful resources and good finds is a great way to build your social media and blog followings. Consistently sharing relevant links and sharing them on Twitter is a strategy that many find helps them be seen as follow worthy. Creating a once a week blog post roundup of good stuff is a great way to add content and keep readers engaged.

Filter personalized content

A more advanced strategy is to use your filter skills to create your own industry research briefs. If you specialize in several market niches you can create laser specific new pages and email newsletter roundups that feature the best of what you find each week. You can even use RSS technology to deliver dynamically changing web content password protected for your best clients.” Source: Profiting From Other People’s Content | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

Clearly, John and I share a lot of the same ‘common sense’. He goes on to list 10 different resources [you can follow the link] you can use as tools to find other people’s content. One of them — Kurrently — is one I’ll have to add to my toolkit. For me, however, this is where we part ways. My paradigm is “Google Reader is the answer. Now what is the question?“.

I use Google Reader like a tactical nuke. It’s the one tool I use to manage the ‘rest of the internet’ and I use it like a virtual newspaper or better yet, news bureau, where I manage hundreds of little newsbots that do my news aggregation for me. I have 5 great ways to get relevant content into Google Reader and they include most of John’s 10 tools — it’s just that in my book, Google Reader is the one tool that rules them all. It really is the driver in my ‘e1evation workflow’ outlined below. Either you get it and you can use it or I can help you implement it but the point is that if you have a brand and you want to build it online, we can help…

btw, you think John will be upset about me ‘Profiting From Other People’s Content’? 😀

If I were an author…

Chris Brogan
Image by BryanPerson via Flickr

…[and I’m not] this post by Chris Brogan would make my day — or maybe even my Memorial Day weekend. In it, Chris [who IS an accomplished author] lays out his social media book marketing plan…

“Here’s a freebie: if I were an author looking to get the most out of the social web (and I am), I’d do something along the lines of what I’m about to share. Your mileage may vary, but here’s a decent approximation of the things I’d do. Please feel free to share liberally. Just link back to An Author’s Plan for Social Media Efforts, please.” Source: An Author’s Plan for Social Media Efforts

He goes on to say…

“This sounds like a lot of steps. It is. But this is how people are finding success. Should this be the publicist’s job? Not even a little bit. The publicist has his or her own methodology. The author will always be the best advocate for his or her own work. Never put your marketing success in the hands of someone else. Always bring your best efforts into the mix and you’ll find your best reward on your time and effort.

You might have found other ways to be successful with various online and social media tools. By all means, please share with us here. What’s your experience been with promoting your work using the social web? ” Source: An Author’s Plan for Social Media Efforts

You’ll have to follow the link to get his 19 steps, but the advice is golden and it’s well worth the trip. Have a great weekend…

7 tools for the mobile journalist

The e1evation/Envano team has done a great deal of work over the past six months on building the ‘near perfect’ toolkit for the mobile journalist. It comes from our award-winning work covering trade shows for AGCO. Here’s an interesting post on tools for the mobile journalist. Read the author’s take and then you can have my list of tools…

“The multi-function playground that is the smartphone has shrunk the capabilities of a van-sized 1970’s news team into the pocket of a single reporter. Today, front-page news can stream from any individual with a cell phone camera and a Twitter account, as it did during Iran’s election protests last summer. Today, major news outlets, such as CNN, have crowdsourced parts of their newsroom to locally-savvy citizen journalists, often armed with little more than a camcorder.

In addition to the standard smartphone equipment, such as a camera and social networking applications, we’ve compiled a list of five additional tools that can help a single journalist rival a fully-functional news team. With these tools, a mobile journalist can record data, edit clips, and broadcast polished stories as events unfold.” Source: 5 Essential Tools for the Mobile Journalist

Personally? I must be cranky today because I think this list is lame! My list?

  • Apple iPhone [too bad the ATT network sucks so bad! We need a Sprint MyFi as backup…]
  • Kodax Zi8 HD Video camera
  • Posterous
  • uStream
  • Picasa
  • A notebook computer
  • And a Humvee Combat Vest to put all the equipment in!

Our key to mobile journalism is to assign the right duties to the right assets, be they people or products. Comment, call or contact me to discuss how this applies to your business…

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Some good email advice…

…from a reputable source…

“Want to be sure that you are a valuable member of the team? Well, then don’t annoy your coworkers with your email habits. Or worse, don’t annoy your superiors.

“Since email is now the number one business communication tool it’s become the best way to trumpet your value and save your job,” says Mike Song, a top email efficiency and etiquette expert and lead author of the bestselling book, The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage Your Email Before It Manages You.” Source: IT Management » Blog Archive » Be A Good Emailer

Go to the source to read the whole article — it’s worth it!

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5 ways to make next year your best year yet

John Jantsch has a great perspective on the planning that usually happens at this time of year and how to make it meaningful…

“About this time of year, some people get in planning mode for the new year. Often times this planning involves dragging out white boards and reviewing last year’s plan to evaluate progress.

My take it that kind of planning, trying to figure what to do next, only leads to mediocrity. It helps you get a little better, maybe, but it’s usually all down there in the ground level, tactical stuff.

Look, you know what you need to do, why not just stop the planning and jump off the ledge with some audacious goals – the kind that force you to get really, really uncomfortable, the kind that start at about 50,000 feet and manifest as chaos. The kind that change your perspective, your breathing, and your entire organizational vibe.” Source: 5 Ways to Make Next Year Your Best Yet | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

Here are his 5 ways:

  • Embrace one big change at a time
  • Make meaning important in your business
  • Do remarkable or quit being boring
  • Get what you’re worth
  • Fuse online with off

If you want the meat, you’ll have to go to the source…

Before I go, I’d also like to recommend this book which has been helpful to me in the past. I better go dig it out!

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The Gods of Venice?

Not my typical post title or topic, but I wanted to lavish kudos on my brother-in-law Alan Shannon, a successful author in the ‘traditional’ media space! His new book ‘The Gods of Venice’ is now available on Here’s the description…

“Throughout its history, enchanting and mysterious Venice has attracted seekers. Some travel to the city to experience its storied charms, while others look for something else. This is the story of vastly different seekers whose lives unexpectedly intersect over six decades in a city shrouded in mystery.

In the Venice of pre-WWII, Costanza, a talented baker, and her husband Piero Agostino, a glass blower, are blessed with a daughter, Breva. She is the love of their life until the waters of Venice snatch her from them. Bereaved, their lives are lost to them.

In present-day Venice, Claudia Baggi, the diffident daughter of a countess, and Louis Howard, an unemployed expatriate from Chicago, have become good friends in the last year. Together, they concoct a plot that will allow Claudia to remain in Venice instead of returning home with her pious and controlling mother, Countess Baggi. Claudia and Louis restore a crumbling palazzo and convert it into a hotel. But the burning of the old La Fenice opera house triggers a series of unforeseeable events.

In this saga of love and redemption, Claudia, Louis, Costanza, Piero, and the Countess come to realize that rebirth is possible from the ashes of devastation. ” Source: The Gods of Venice (9781440174018): Alan J. Shannon: Books

Clicking the link will take you to the product page on where you can order dozens of copies for yourself and all the erudite readers on your Christmas gift list. btw, what good is it having your own blog if you can’t brag on your family every once in awhile? Nice work, Alan!

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