Updated roadmap

Hi, I have worked recently on clarifying the roadmap for WEEK PLAN and thought you might be interested to see it.

Roadmap

1. Polish the Android app. We published the Android app silently a few weeks ago and unfortunately it is still very “experimental”. Because I am not an Android app developer myself, I have outsourced the development to another company and fixing and polishing the app takes an order of magnitude more time than I would like.

2. Publish a new version of the API. We will improve the documentation and the consistency of the API to make it easy for any developer to create apps on top of WEEK PLAN. The first product to come out of this API is the iPhone app which is doing very well now.

3. Rework the user experience. I believe I can make the experience on WEEK PLAN a lot more engaging by improving how a user enters information and navigates in the web application.

4. Calendar day view. This is our most requested feature and after several months of product design I believe I came up with an elegant solution.

5. Etc… There are more than 400 items in our parking lot, so we are not running out of ideas on how to improve the product… The timer seems to be a feature people use extensively so we might look into improve it.

 

What we have been working on lately

1. Publish the Android app.

2. Publish and polish the Google Calendar synchronization.

3. Hire another developer. Although we are making progress, things are going way too slow. So for months I have been looking to hire someone but I couldn’t find anyone that matched what I was looking for. Finally I met Dzmitry from Belarus and he is great!

4. Automation of the testing. One of the things I want to improve is the stability of the software and Dzmitry’s first task has been to automate the testing on many pages of WEEK PLAN.

5. The Outliner. I was looking for a way to connect long term vision with the weekly planner and this is what the Outliner is about. I am planning to publish a video about the Outliner soon.

My ideal week: free printable "planner"

Do you live your life as it comes (reactive approach) or do you prefer to live with purpose according to a plan (proactive approach)?

As the founder of WEEK PLAN, I try to expose my readership to new interesting techniques that can help them be more effective.

Today, I share a new tool called MY IDEAL WEEK:

Screenshot of my own ideal week

The concept is very simple: imagine what your ideal week would look like if you had 100% control over your time

I believe it is essential to color code your ideal week. It helps you find imbalance and attach you emotionally to this piece of paper. I personally use green for “Sharpen the saw” kind of activities, pink for relationships, blue for creative work, and grey for chores. 

Some comments on my ideal week: 
1. As you can see I still spend a lot of time consulting while I am bootstrapping WEEKPLAN. My true ideal week would replace consulting with Development work for WEEK PLAN.
2. I don’t plan much of my weekends. The weekends are the days I have the least control of.
3. I like to give each day a focus theme (admin, consulting, dev, etc…).

I have turned MY IDEAL WEEK into a PDF that you can download here[version with am/pm format] [version with Sunday first]

Enjoy! 

WeekPlan integrates with Google Calendar

We told you we had a couple of exciting announcements coming up. 

Today we are launching the two way integration with Google Calendar.

What it does
New events from Google Calendar will appear in your Week Plan (refreshed every hour). 
New tasks from your Week Plan will appear in Google Calendar.

What it means
What is exciting about this new integration is that you can now access your Week Plan tasks everywhere Google Calendar is available. All the existing apps in the App Store or Google Play Store that work with Google Calendar will work with your Week Plan tasks too.

How to enable this integration
This integration is available to Week Plan PRO users. If you are not a PRO user, you can review the plan here.

To connect to your Google Calendar, head to your workspace’s settings page, you will find the Google Calendar section.

Consider joining a mastermind group to achieve faster

If you are reading this blog, chances are you like to challenge yourself and you are likely in a situation today where you are being challenged.

I am the founder of WEEK PLAN, and running a business is a continuous stream of challenges. When you are working on the same thing day in day out, you start losing perspective on what you are doing and it becomes hard to figure out what the best next step would be.

When I started feeling I was the limiting factor in my business, I looked for external help. First I asked for feedback from my direct friends, but realized that most of my challenges were so specific that they couldn’t relate to my challenges and couldn’t offer me any relevant advice. This is when I decided to surround myself with people who were in a similar situation to mine.

My story with mastermind groups started in 2010, when I started a founder mastermind breakfast (you can still read the blog post I wrote at the time) where we would meet over breakfast and chat about our challenges and try to suggest solutions for others. I also wanted to be able to share my progress with people I knew from France (I am French but I live in Australia) so I also developed a web application that allowed us to reproduce what I was doing during the mastermind breakfasts online. Later on, I joined forces with the excellent coach James Short to help organize mastermind groups around the world. Nowadays I am not involved with this anymore but James is still at it and reports great results from his participants.

In this article, I would like to offer a practical guide on how to start being part of a mastermind group.

What is a mastermind group

Napoleon Hill popularized the concept of mastermind groups in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. He described mastermind groups as being a key component to success. Here is a video where you can see him explaining the concept:

A mastermind group is a regular meeting of people who share a common goal and are looking to encourage and help each other improve.

Why it works

  • Accountability: You are held accountable to the achievement of your goals. Just knowing you have a regularly scheduled meeting will internally drive you to make progress. Nobody wants to be seen as lazing around while others are making huge progress in their business
  • Perspective: Each individual has a unique history and set of skills. When you expose your challenge to someone else, you are likely to get a solution you may not have been able to think of.
  • Synergy: The interaction of several trusting people can produce a combined solution greater than the sum of their separate solutions.
  • The explainer effect: When you have to explain a problem to someone else, often, the solution becomes evident to you as you are explaining the problem.
  • Resources: By being part of this group, you gain access to everyone’s personal network.

How to be part of a mastermind group

Online

If you want to join a group online, you can check out Fizzle (for entrepreneurs) or Online Peers.

Alternatively, you can create a private Facebook group and invite people to it. The benefit of the Facebook group is that people are more likely to interact with the group because the messages will appear in their Facebook feed.

Offline

Check out the website Meetup.com. You will likely find groups around your area that meet around your topic of choice. You can go there and recruit people for your own mastermind group for example.
Starting your own meetup group is also possible but may take a bit more time and effort to put in place.

WEEK PLAN

I am considering organizing mastermind groups from within the WEEK PLAN application. If you are interested in giving it a try, please drop a comment to show interest.

WeekPlan for iphone

We have got some exciting news to share!

Week Plan is available as an iPhone app in the AppStore and a new release was just approved by Apple

Check out the app on the AppStore here.

In this new version you can access the following features:
– Setting time on tasks
– Calendar integration
– Reminders,
– Subtasks, etc… 

Also, the iPhone app has changed name from MyWeek to Week Plan to avoid any confusion in the future.

We have a few exciting announcements coming soon, stay tuned!

The comprehensive guide about body language

Your body language provides an immediate signal of our feelings and intentions towards another person or situation. However, most people are either unaware or unconscious of the body messages we send to others. Sadly, the receivers of your message will make a snap judgement based on your body language alone. That is why is very essential for us to learn body language so as to be effectively relate to people well, in a way that fosters trust and mutual understanding.

According to University of California professor Albert Mehrabian, your words communicate about 7% of who you are. Your tone of voice accounts for 38% of your communication while the rest, about 55% can be inferred from your body language. (more…)

9 powerful tips to live a life without regrets

Regret is no stranger us. Almost everyone has experienced that burning feeling of regret. We all have several things in our past we wish we had done, not done or done differently. Some are minor, involving decisions that can be rectified. But the serious and most heartbreaking ones are those realized at the end of life. You certainly wouldn’t want to grow old lamenting about the things you should have done when you still had the ability, opportunity and time.

Joyce Meyer defines regret as “Distress over a desire unfulfilled or an action performed or not performed”. It can either be productive or unproductive. Productive regret has a positive outcome where you learn to change your behavior for the future. Unproductive regret however may cause chronic stress as a result blaming oneself. As mentioned above regret can be due to things done or not done. Below are steps you should take to reduce regrets in your life. (more…)

A primer on Empathic Listening

“You don’t understand me.”

Have you ever felt this way? Misunderstood? It happens often in our places of work, in our relationships or at our homes where most of day to day interactions lack deeper sense of connection, understanding, emotional identification, compassion or feel.

In fact very few of us are confident that people they live with or work with can testify that they are good listeners- whether in routine conversations or in very tense situations. Instead of listening to what the other person has to say, we may find ourselves contemplating our next reply. As a result, the other person feels misunderstood and neglected. The hard truth is that few interactions qualify as perfectly empathetic. According to Dr. Bookbinder:

“Only 2% of interactions include acknowledgement of the other, the foundation of all human interactions.”

To understand the other person, you not only need to listen actively but also emphatically. Perfecting the art of emphatic listening is not easy. You may get sloppy if you don’t try hard or get derailed when tense situations show up. The question is how can we listen emphatically?

(more…)

Overcoming procrastination

How many times did you find yourself postponing a task? Everyone struggles every now and then with procrastination, according to the magazine, Psychology Today:

“Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available”

The question is, how can you re-adjust yourself and harness your mental energy to enable yourself overcome procrastination? (more…)

An introduction to outsourcing

As part of my work on WeekPlan, I constantly try to find ways to help people be more effective.

Being more effective comes from identifying what matter most and working on it. But what should you do with the things that are not that important and yet still need to get done?

Before working on WeekPlan, I created the outsourcing marketplace TaskArmy (http://taskarmy.com) to help people leverage the world of outsourcing.

I have always been passionate about finding ways to use my time meaningfully and I think that outsourcing can help tremendously.

But I understand that starting outsourcing from scratch can seem daunting.

  • What can a personal assistant do?
  • How to find the right person?
  • How much should you pay?
  • How can you collaborate with that person effectively?

I am going to answer these questions.

(more…)