While this isn’t exactly what I do now it is the base for my everyday task list. I modified this below to add things like water intake but it is still 90% of what makes me productive. One of the biggest mistakes when starting this system was I put more than 10 things on my to-do list. Don’t do that. You may think that doing 10 things in a day makes you productive but I would rather focus on 2-4 things and do them right.
It’s been a while since I updated the blog. I can’t let that happen anymore, now that I have a new system.
Over the last couple weeks I have been experiencing a change with the way I write. I started using a voice recorder, and Dragon dictate software to transcribe the text. The results are mixed, but they seem to get better with time and training.
I joined a couple Facebook groups where they talk about dictating with using Dragon and using voice recorders. Using the voice recorder with Dragon is a bit tricky especially if using the Mac version to transcribe your text.
The Mac version of Dragon Dictate isn’t as good as the Windows version. Last time I drove across the country, I listened to a lot of podcasts. One was the Author Biz podcast that is hosted by Stephen Campbell and it had in-depth listen with Scott Baker.
Scott Baker has writing books down to a science using Dragon. It was a really eye-opening podcast for me, it made me realize that I can talk a lot faster than I can type. This has put my writing back on track. What used to be an afterthought, is now turning into a full-fledged book writing experience.
For years I wanted to write a book about all the people that I’ve met in the subway while I was working there. I met some pretty interesting characters as you can imagine. When I started back in 1988 I basically had the worst subway stations to work in since I was a junior guy and of course that led to the most craziest people you can ever imagine.
I’m writing a book right now which is going to be a series call “Six feet on the Brooklyn”. The book is probably going to be about 10 to 12 books long in a series from what I can see. The Beatles put out 12 albums, so I will put out 12 books. It should be a fun journey! Go like the Facebook page to keep updated.
Each book will be about 50,000 words and will probably be on a timeline from 1988 and on. I am about 15,000 words into the first book right now and the plan is that 1000-2000 words a day. So that means every six day weeks will be another book, because you have to leave time for editing. A few weeks ago I went into New York City and took some pictures of subway stations that will eventually be my book covers.
Finding the right book cover artist is hard but since I already have the pictures, and I know what I want it should be pretty easy.
It is also part of my plan for 2017 to get a little bit more diverse of when it comes to income. Writing books is just to be part of it going forward.
Another thing I’ve been expanding into his T-shirts using Amazon Merch. It’s pretty cool to take a photo, and put it on a design and then be able to sell it on Amazon. The cool thing about this program as they do all the printing and the shipping all you have to do is make the design and make it once. I’ve been listening to a few podcasts, and joined a few Facebook groups on the subject.
I am also going to have a podcast in the near future. I’ve been putting it off too long. The problem I have is what the main focus of the podcast is going to be is going to be! Affiliate marketing, social media, writing books, Amazon merch, the list is endless. The other day I was interviewed on Shawn Collins This is affiliate marketing podcast and it really got my juices flowing and to start podcasting again.
After reading the headline you may have thought “Has Vinny finally lost his mind?” Let me explain a little bit how I use Evernote to keep Debbie happy.
A few months back I was at a store and I saw a red velvet cake and said to myself I should get that for Debbie so I did. I was proud of myself that I remembered this because she had ordered it a few weeks earlier when we went out to eat with her daughter Liz. I couldn’t wait to get home with it. Well I was in for a shock when I arrived home.
I walked in the house and made Debbie come into the kitchen to show her what I brought her. I opened the bag and pulled out the red velvet cake and the look on her face said it all. Turns out Debbie hates red velvet cake. Vinny went from hero to doghouse in seconds.
For a few minutes I was wondering was it a former girlfriend that like red velvet cake? Turns out I had remembered it was Debbie’s daughter Liz ordered the red velvet cake and loved it. She had ordered it a few weeks before at a restaurant we were at so that is why it was fresh in my head.
This is how I started what I call my “Debbie List” I made a list in Evernote that I put in that Deb hates red velvet cake. I asked Deb what type of cake I should get next time? Of course being in the doghouse I got a snarl but eventually she told me. I put the answer in the Debbie list. At first this was just a reminder system for me but I have turned it into my happy list.
Over the next month any time I was at a store or fast food restaurant I asked Deb what she wanted then made a detailed note in my Evernote. At first Deb had no idea but I soon realized that was kind of creepy plus she could add to my list voluntary.
In casual conversation I asked her what size clothes she wears, her favorite flower, etc
She loves it as much as me. She will often tell me to add this or that into Evernote.
I can go to McDonald’s and just bring home her favorite without even telling her I was stopping. Can stop at Victora secrets and pick up something I like in her size, and bring her flowers also. All without her knowing what I am doing.
As I add more and more stuff life has gotten so much better. Start your list, get your spouse involved, have them make a list on your favorite things. You can make it into a fun game.
- Favorite flower
- Favorite wine
- Favorite color
- Clothes size – get specific shoes – shirts, etc
- Favorite food
- Go to Stabucks drink
Sometimes a reminder isn’t good enough though. In the case of Deb’s favorite wine I know she likes moscato by a certain brand. Even though I have it written down I also have a picture of the label saved in Evernote so I make sure I get the right one every time.
I also make notes when we go out to eat when a meal was really good or bad. A few weeks after the meal I can suggest we go to a place and remind her about the great meal and mention what it was. Makes date night so much better.
These are just some suggestions. Along with this list I also have a section on the bottom of my list things she hates. Just not bringing these things home has improved my out of the doghouse odds immensely.
Go pick up Evernote today and save yourself a headache and keep yourself out of the doghouse.
A few weeks ago we took a little vacation, ok a longer than expected vacation. For me a vacation is getting away for 2 or 3 days but Debbie likes longer vacations which as long as I have a computer handy is fine with me.
We headed up towards the mountains in Sedona Arizona which is really beautiful with trees and mountains and I really like it there. After the 3rd or 4th day I was ready to get back to work. The freedom of a few days off really did wonders for me. I had 25 new ideas of things I wanted to do.
Something I did though really made me think about things. I hiked up to the top of Cathedral Rock. This overweight city boy and any sort of hiking do not go hand and hand to say the least. While it wasn’t exactly mountain climbing it was a tough hike that took me over an hour and a half to get to the top. They have a little trail and this was the easiest part.
The views were amazing! Half of the trip I hiked with a wedding photographer from LA who kept wishing he could do a bridal shoot up on top of the mountain. He was out of shape like me so it was a battle to see if we could both make it. The video is a little rough since I tripped over a cactus while filming but you can see the view from both sides really well if you watch the whole thing.
While hiking the mountain I had a question in the back of my mind the whole time. “How was I going to get down?” Instead of listening to the little voice in my head telling me to stop I kept going. Today I am so glad I did otherwise I would be beating myself up for not going to the top.
Taking the hard road doesn’t always work but you never know until you step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
The other day I was riding my bike to the store when I turned the corner and there was a kid standing there with a sign. The sign wasn’t well written for me to see as it was in pencil and it was a sunny day. I was on the other side of the street so I couldn’t stop without darting into traffic. On my way back I purposely went back on that side of the street to see what the sign said.
As I approached I still couldn’t see the sign so I yelled to the kid. “What does your sign say?” He ran towards me like I was the first person to stop and take an interest.
He says “I am selling Crystals!” With that I see a little table set up in the driveway of next house with a few kids sitting around a bunch of rocks. I pull up to the table wondering where these kids parents are since I think they are a little young to be by themselves.
I ask the kid how much and he had them set up in rows of 25 cents, 50 cents or 75 cents, as he is pointing to the “Crystals” which are really rocks from his front yard. I tell him to pick out the prettiest ones because my girlfriend likes “Crystals”. All of a sudden I have 3 kids picking and choosing the best ones to sell me. They pick out 3 of the 25 cent ones. I whip out a dollar and tell them I will take 4 since they are so helpful.
You would of thought I gave them a million dollars! They all had huge smiles on their face. I could tell I was their first sale and probably their only sale. I tell the kid with the sign that he needs a better one. I almost fell over when he told me “We don’t have the resources to go to Staples”.
If you see kids selling rocks or lemonade or whatever give them a little boost. For all we know that kid will be the next president of a rock mine or the president of Staples.
I came home and gave Debbie the rocks and told her the story. The look on her face was priceless when I came in announcing I bought something for her and took rocks out of my pocket.