• How To Get Big Changes In Just 12 Weeks

    Big Changes

    So I have been around a lot of change over the last few weeks, in those few weeks I have been looking for a way to deal with it all.

    Or instead, accept it and work out what to do with it, change happens all the time, and I’ve got better and working out how to harness the energy and indecision that comes with it.

    It still affects me, but I can recognise the different types of emotions and energy coming towards me and either discard them or embrace them.

    This time I stalled out for about a week and then I was able to get back on the horse, rather than whine. Of course, whining is way easier to do

    I thought I’d tie up how I skipped whining and got into action in this post, change and uncertainty have been complete showstoppers for me in the past, now I am winning.

    End Of An Era

    The most significant change was the closing of @Work Hubs the coworking space I have worked at alongside my freelance practice for the last three years, but more on that later, the message here is what I did with the time.

    Luckily the end of @Work Hubs coincided exactly with the fantastic weather we are having here in the UK and the start of the 90 Day challenge in Content Marketing Academy community of which I am a member.

    We’ll start with the 90 Day Challenge, the goal is to commit to producing a consistent amount of content every week for 90 days, this could be a post every day or a podcast every week, but you have to keep up the delivery.

    Every week there is a group call where Chris from the CMA gives feedback on how the group are doing.

    My first one was a car crash, my second one better and this one I am going to break through the sound barrier.

    I produce a lot of content but keeping going all the time is a massive challenge for me, it is also what we talk about in London Bloggers Meet Up and Write Club most of the time.

    I mean, how hard can it be? Open a google doc and write something and put it online.

    Ever since I published my first blog in 2006 on Blogger I have had this wild fantasy of posting a lot of content; I love it, I mean I LOVE it.

    I am crap at writing for other people, but I am great at their strategy, story and making connections between posts and projects.

    BTW this is my favourite blog post ever; it is about when I cut the top off of my finger at a restaurant.

    More Everything With 90 Days Of Massive Action

    Then I got the video below from Jeff in an email; I signed up for Jeff’s Google Analytics course when it came through as a deal on App Sumo.

    I have never known where to look for how to get the most out of Google Analytics.

    I’ve been following Avinash’s blog since 2009 and get it, but I have would never dare claim about what to do with it.

    Which, when you have chosen a path based around making content to make websites rock you kind of need to have a more profound grasp.

    Jeff’s analytics course is easing me through the Google beast, don’t ask me anything yet I am still getting a grip on it!

    How To Get Big Changes In Just 12 Weeks? More Of Everything

    Here Jeff describes how many “more everything” happened after his team produced 90 videos, emails and blog posts in 90 days, of course, there was growth, but the best thing he got was motivation and pace.

    At the end of the video, he talks about how it takes him three hours to make a 20-minute video nowadays, not a week.

    I have this pace with podcasting, but not with blogging and that my friend is where we are going in the next 90 days.

    How You Going To Do That?

    Sorry to make this sound way more comfortable than it is, so forgive me for simplifying the whole thing, it has taken years to get here, and it always pissed me off when someone would write a post and say something like ‘it’s just a change of mindset and more green tea.’

    You have to make your ‘own’ system, this I read about in Scott’s 2011 book Making Ideas Happen, and I have been tweaking my system ever since, there are about 100 other books, but the one I’d recommend is 12 Week year.

    I’ve been following this for around three years now and have read it and read it and read it and then reread it.

    We even started a meet up based around 12 Week Year called Not So Manic Monday, which will be back after the summer in September.

    In the meantime, my friend Karen and I have a call every Monday to keep each other on track.

    We have our goals and report back to each other on where we are and what the breakdowns are and what the intention is for the next week.

    I Still Don’t Know What I Am Doing

    What I found surprising is that I struggled to articulate what my intention was for the 12 weeks and what I had to do for the next week.

    I get ready to go and then don’t know where I am going.

    Committing to the “12 Week Year” forced me to write down and say what I am going to do every week.

    I even swapped project tools to make sure I had no room for hiding, also though I am a fan of Zenkit and Kanban boards.

    But I went back to Todoist because it syncs with Exist App and tracks EVERYTHING I do so I know where I am slacking off.

    Exist App connects to Gmail, Fitbit, Rescue Time, Apple health and even Twitter to let me know the combination of habits to have a good day.

    When Karen and I have our call, I can report back from the Todoist Karma counter and also see what is happening in Exist App.

    How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive1

    Planning And Execution

    Another significant change for work this year has been committing deeply to Coschedule again for planning content.

    Coschedule it is a content app that works online and sits inside your WordPress website.

    From here you can organise, write and publish blogs, Mailchimp emails and all your social media.

    I still highly recommend tools like Mindmeister and Zenkit for project planning and execution, but the edge that Coschdule has over these tools for website content is that you are planning your work and working your plan in the same app.

    In this current ‘12 Week Year,’ one of my core goals is to get super fast at creating and shipping blogs, podcasts and emails.

    That means fine-tuning the processes for Ouishare Radio which my partner in crime Trevor is particularly impressive at.

    On my site I need to get sharper at getting ideas from my head to my website like the post you are reading now, this was where Jeff’s video touched a nerve for me.

    We’ll be deep diving into “How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive” next week at London Bloggers Meet Up at The Studio in Camden, the new home for all our coworking and Ouishare London antics.

    RSVP for the Meet Up here 

    Photo by Peder Cho on Unsplash

  • This Year Something Was Different

    I know you’ve been crying into your tissue sodden hand for the last week when this blog did not arrive.
    Sorry, but, well, you know bloody Christmas happened so I took full advantage of the hysteria.

    This year something was different.
    I dread this time of year, I was bracing myself to plunge back into a God-forsaken pit of despair and depression and it never arrived.
    Every day I have woken up and double checked I am in the right life, right family and right blog.

    I love therapy and therapy loves me
    I started to feel better in 2016 I was ready to give up therapy on Tuesday afternoons.
    I had a couple of drab sessions and then BANG – we started talking about topics I’d thought about every day of my life.
    Long ago thinking about these things had become a habit, routine, and unresolved like a dripping tap you can’t find in a very quiet house.

    Now I am encouraged
    In the second half of 2016, I looked forward to being with people for the first time in years.
    My mouth, head, heart and physical location started to be synced for the first time since I was a child.
    I could not wait to get up in the morning.

    Who Has Time To Panic?
    The anxiety, the panic, the dread, the idea of sticking one of our Argentine steak knives into my wrist, of jumping in front of the 66 bus as it thundered down the A-12 or leaping in front of a central line train at Liverpool Street just melted away sometime in 2016 and never came back.

    So What Did I do?
    Everyone asks this. “Bernie what was the one thing that made the difference?”
    I hesitate, giving advice with a sense of “this will make the change you need” is an arsehole thing to do.
    The good people who give direct advice will always take the time to highlight that “you need to do the work, not flick a switch.”
    I am still doing the work and I would say the ONE THING I did was to work out HOW to do the work.
    This WAS the hard bit.

    Doing The Work – Never Ends.
    In order to be able to do the work, which I might add will NEVER END, I had to find more time and the best way to find more time was to shut up.
    I started asking questions rather than TELLING people.
    (I Still TELL people – if you catch me doing it punch me.)
    Please don’t tell anyone but the main reason I do a weekly newsletter and write blogs is so I talk less in real life.

    Parrot Fashion
    I was more than a little horrified at how much of my conversation was me TELLING people what I had just read in a blog or book, followed shortly by an app recommendation.
    There are things that I consider important, call them principles or values, and I repeat the words of others because I don’t feel I can make up my own version.
    So I needed to get my own version.

    Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Hit In The Mouth – Mike Tyson
    In September, I started reading the “12 Week Year” book that advocates planning in 12 Week chunks.
    So a week is worth a month and a day is worth a week.
    Since September I have read part of this book every day, I did miss a couple of days!
    There was my grand plan, I got hit in the face, had a couple of weeks of ‘Groundhog Day’ and-and-and-and “suddenly” time passed and everything was working.

    So Are We Done Here?
    No, we are not done. January 1st, 2017 is the first day of my third round of 12 Weeks.
    If someone asks me what I do this year I will say “I am a freelance writer” – I’ve got clients, customers and everything.
    I knew this earlier in 2016 and spent a few months dicking around and trying to run away from this “writer thing” I have always wanted to be.
    I am addicted, inspired, I’ve found my grit and know what I am doing every hour of every day.
    2016? This year something was different, I don’t know where it started but I know where it ended and I loved it.

    Three things I stuck to this year that I recommend with cast iron confidence.
    1. 12 Week Year- The Book
    2. Rainmaker Platform – WordPress Website with a blog, email, podcast, and online course building. Also, includes ongoing training and tech support.
    3. Fizzle – Online learning community for Indy workers, freelancers and micro businesses.

  • Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work

    You would be right if you were thinking I leapt into the 12 Week Year with HUGE success goals, money goals and I-need-a-new-iPad-Pro goals.


    I ended up with less money than I started, but I carved a solid path out as a freelance writer and know what I need to do daily.

    Time spent on courses in Fizzle, Creative Class, Collaboration Superpowers and Rainmaker deeply helped define this.


    Where To Start?


    Have you ever thought about something so much that when the time comes you are paralysed?

    It’s called decision fatigue and I think it’s happening right now so I will write like this.

    If you have ever been a bit worried, anxious or depressed you will know that deciding between tea and coffee can knock you out for the day, seriously!

    While I was engaged being depressed a couple of years ago I wouldn’t wash up for three days because I couldn’t decide where to begin, of course, the pile of washing up only added to the torture of being on my own at home, #Supercoolwife and #Babybernie sought sanctuary at friend’s house for a few days because I was like a Dementor from Harry Potter, actually, I am sure they are more chirpy than a depressed Bernie.


    This sounds a bit of a ramble Mitchell….


    Ah, sorry.

    You will have noticed it’s November and Christmas is coming fast.

    Given the chance, we like to flee to Poland or Argentina at this time of year.

    I hate Christmas in the UK I hate Christmas full stop. But this year my mood is stable, I am almost uncomfortable with how ‘un-pissed-off’ I am at this moment in time.


    Mitchell, the title of this post had Simon Sinek in, I don’t see much Simon….


    Ok mood vs focus is where I am going with this.

    You will have heard our tribe ranting about Deep Work and 12 Week Year (s) and this is where we have ended up.

    We sit down and focus support each other as we do, most of this year I have spent doing a daily meeting with Emily, Phil or Nils to keep going and this week started a Working Out Loud group here @WorkHubs so all get to follow a 12 step program, sorry 12-week programs.


    I had to stop some things to make room for all the other good bits. 


    Being a victim

    Like a monk I read 12 Week Year daily, one of the lines is ‘stop being the victim’ as you can imagine this isn’t the first time I have heard this.

    I am ashamed at how much of my life is other people’s fault, particularly Kenneth Baker who was the Secretary of Education in the UK when I was a child, my Grandmother for not letting me watch Rent-a-ghost because she thought the guy with the beard was Kenny Everett. Both these people affect my ability to function 30 years later, even if they were here now I wouldn’t let them apologise.

    So no more victim. Ever.


    Yes, Yes I gave up podcasts, and inserted courses.

    I have to learn a few skills at a deep level. I listened to podcasts by people I know personally because I enjoyed them, not because they were helping me hone a skill.

    I couldn’t decide what to listen to so I cut them all out, yes even yours.

    My Phone – this is the Simon Sinek bit…

    Bernie, you gave up your phone?

    No, I have gone cold turkey on pressing the buttons on it every 10 minutes. I took off ALL the social media apps, restricted email and now use it to track my progress and listen to books.

    In Simon Sinek’s RSA talk from last week and the presentation talk that you can watch below, there’s a theme of connectedness and dropping your phone, this theme is also strong in both the ‘Deep Work‘ and ‘12 Week Year‘ books.


    What Is Easier Than Quitting Your Phone?


    I found it easier quitting smoking, drinking and cocaine than I have leaving my phone alone. You would ask me a question and I’d look in my phone instead of thinking or asking you a clarification question.

    #Babybernie would look out the window on the bus and I’d check my phone or type something in – that I’d never look at again.

    I leave it off most of the day now, a small amount of people who would need to call me know how to get to me or an SMS comes to my computer, I am actually a bit dejected at how unessential I am.

    Result? I am doing less work, in less time and it’s much better.

    This week is 12 Week Year number two AND we have a Working Out Loud group in our coworking space, and I am looking forward to my new found career.

    So that is the link between Simon Sinek, Your Phone And Deep Work – but you knew that.


      This Weeks Links  
    To Work Better, Work Less


    To Work Better, Work Less


    Between 1853 and 1870, Baron Haussmann ordered much of Paris to be destroyed. Slums were razed and converted to bourgeois neighbourhoods, and the formerly labyrinthine city became a place of order, full of wide boulevards (think Saint-Germain) and angular avenues (the Champs-Élysées). 


    Poor Parisians tried to put up a fight but were eventually forced to flee, their homes knocked down with minimal notice and little or no recompense. The city underwent a full transformation—from working-class and medieval to bourgeois and modern—in less than two decades’ time. Read The Full Article Here  
    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Simon Sinek | Together is Better | RSA Replay

    Together is Better with Simon Sinek. Best-selling author and TED talk sensation Simon Sinek is fascinated by the people that make the greatest impact in their organisations, and in the… Watch The Talk Here  
    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92 -...

    Content Curation With Trello And Publicate #LLBS 92

    In this episode, a VERY excited Chris (founder of Publicate) shares how people are using the new Trello / Publicate Power Up.


    How to use Trello, Publicate and Mailchimp in the same workflow to make resource hubs and plan content.  Find Out Here
    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in

    A focused weekly club for writers to engage in “deep work”

    Our weekly Write Club ‘Deep Work’ is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write and gain the inspiration from being around other writers.


    Join authors, students, comedians, Doctors, freelancers, developers, musicians and people like you for a deep session on writing. RSVP Here    
    created in Publicate


  • A few week’s ago, Trello announced a new card repeater power-up. The power-up allows you to set repeating tasks up so that they automatically appear in Trello when you need them. The Card Repeater function turns out to be pretty difficult to turn off. I’ve found a small trick that makes it much easier – read on to find out more.

    Trello’s Card Repeater is a life changer

    We got very excited when the Card Repeater power-up was released – and we even wrote about it on this very blog!

    I’ve since found that when left unchecked, you end up with a mass of repeating cards in your Trello list, something a bit like this:

    Trello Repeating Cards Gone Crazy
    Trello Repeating Cards Gone Crazy

    I did honestly write all those blog posts – I just didn’t keep the Trello board updated.

    A quick aside: The two reasons why I didn’t need Trello to remind me to write those blog posts were: I used timeboxing to make sure I had time allocated to this particular task – and I used a version of the Tiny Habits system to make it automatic.

    Anyway, back to Trello. Left with a mess of repeating cards, I found it incredibly difficult to find the original, parent card that was set to repeat! How did I turn this thing off?

    Trello comments to the rescue

    Eventually, I found a simple trick to get hold of the Card Repeater’s parent card and turn the whole thing off. I was saved by the fact that I had a comment on the parent card. When the card is repeated, the comment is copied across as well. This action leaves an activity entry on the new card:

    Trello Card Repeater Activity Log
    Clicking this link goes to the parent card

    Clicking the link took me straight through to the parent repeater card, and I could use the Card Repeater power-up button to remove the repeat:

    Remove card repeater in trello
    Access Card Repeater Settings On The Parent Card

    So the moral of the story is:

    When you create a repeating card in Trello, add a comment to it, so that you can easily link back to the original card and change settings or remove the repeat altogether!

    Of course, the next question is what to write in those comments! So I leave you with a list of inspirational, lovely quotes to give you an endless supply. Not only will you become more productive but you will brighten up your day each time you work on a repeating task in Trello!

    Here’s a quote I particularly enjoy:

    It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

  • The End Of My First 12 Week Year

    On Tuesday we start our Working Out Loud (WOL) group at our coworking space, it’s also the end of my first 12 Week Year.

    Oddly, I feel an imposter when I write about “productivity” part of me wants to tell you ‘I did the 12 Week Year now have a million dollar start-up and run a marathon daily.’

    Those of you who run marathons or become parents know things don’t happen in the flick of a switch, so I don’t know why I think you might expect me to turn life around in 12 Weeks.

    It’s tempting to joke my goal for the WOL is to stop dicking around.

    Becoming a Dad in 2011 and being depressed made me stop dicking around.

    The horror of not being able to get off the couch and feeling suicidal followed by the gift of wanting to wash up and meet other human beings showed revealed to me the difference between depression, learned helplessness and being a spoilt brat

    I Blame The Parents

    Turns out I have more spoilt brat than I’d like, not Veruca Salt type spoilt – more of an inner subconscious compass with a warped take on responsibility.

    I was tempted to blame my parents, after all, they brought me up.

    My Dad wasn’t Nelson Mandela, George Orwell or David Bowie those guys were off doing other work.

    My Dad worked with what he had, right where he was and he certainly wasn’t out to fuck me up or create a spoilt brat.

    My Mother, died before she was scheduled to, I miss her but her timing was inconvenient for me emotionally.

    Stopping blaming my parents – easy.

    Admitting I was blaming them – hard.

    I can’t even tell you what they did wrong.

    I know other people blame their parents, but this isn’t something I’d stoop to doing.

    12 Week Grit

    As I beat depression over the last two years I realised we don’t wake up one day and immediately become free from debt and depression.  

    In the last 12 weeks I have developed a level of grit and determination I’ve craved all my life. Building a tiny little bit daily is where the real pay-off is happening.

    Ten years ago my friend Mike would joke about how I’d jump between extremes in my life.  

    I’d start the month as a T-total juicing marathon runner and end it eating fish and chips while hoovering up a lethal cocktail of class A drugs at a music festival, the weeks in the middle were a void.

    I am interested in a better use of the time I have now. I guess I attempted to speed up space and time and instead discover slowing down and being myself is a better way to live.

    Make Permission 

    At the peak of my break down my mate Daniel would feed me Argentine food and encourage me to ‘give myself permission to relax’.

    At the time being married, being a parent and having a mortgage seemed less of a commitment than ‘giving myself permission to relax’.

    The horror lay in stopping to look around, even more fucking scary was working it all out  a way forward. These days I rage about coworking and food because these two things combined made the solid foundation to getting my life back.

    You Don’t Have To

    Just to be clear, you don’t have to eat avocados and coworking space to prevent a shit life, this is what worked for me.

    My faith in the next 12 weeks is high, I mean my faith, not my expectation is high.

    I have faith I’ll be in an even better place on 26th January 2017 when the next 12 weeks ends, even with all the changes that will happen on the way.  

    Next Sunday I’ll share a few simple things that worked for me on this first 12 week journey, below are a few things I have been using.

    1. This Worked The Best

    My Miracle Morning


    My Miracle Morning
    I have been working on this 'Miracle Morning' thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday's waitress called Polly Anna, but it works.

    2. This Also Worked Best

    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine


    Productive - Habit tracker - Daily Routine
    This app  is SUPER simple to build daily routine & reminders for goals & resolutions. You can see how you are doing and be honest with yourself about what is really working and where you are kidding yourself.  Beware come near me and I'll MAKE you download it 😉

    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks


    The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks
    You will NOT pick this up, read it and have everything work.
    I read A LOT and chose to commit to this book with blind faith, so watch out for my evangelical tone on this.
    I have to stress that it is not the first 'system' I have ever encountered, also I am sure that everything else I have learnt makes this work for me.
    It is worth pointing out that there is no cult to join, $100k cruise to go on or other wanky upsell's to endure for following this books program.

    4. I Liked This. Not Everyone Did.

    The Full-Time Job Is Dead


    The Full-Time Job Is Dead
    The full-time job, used to it as we are, is not some natural state of human existence.
    Before the 1800s, few people worked a structured “work week.” That conceit was dreamed up by early industrialists, who needed to bring workers together in a factory at the same time to efficiently make products. For the past 100 years, the 40-hour job has been the centerpiece of work life because there was no better way for people to gather in one place at the same time to connect, collaborate and produce.

    5. Work Alone. Together.

    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"


    A focused weekly club for to engage in "deep work"
    When Philip from @WorkHubs put this on Meet Up the whole dynamic changed, every week a mixed group of people who need to write something come together for a couple of hours and write.
    I have 'grown up' about making time to write at every session I have taken part in.
    "Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write without being distracted."

    created in Publicate

  • My Miracle Morning

    I have been working on this ‘Miracle Morning‘ thing for ages and now I have it down to a fine art. I know the title sucks and sounds like a coked up TGI Friday’s waitress called Polly Anna but it works. 

    Every day I wake up between 5am and 6am, more often 5am and before anything can happen I start listening to an audio version of 12 Week Year, then from there I leap into the kitchen and down a pint of cold water.

    After that, I make a Yerba mate (Argentine tea), pop my vitamins and medication then chill for a few minutes looking out the window sipping mate and listening to the book.

    This first part takes about 15 minutes. Next up is 50 points on the Spanish App Duolingo and then 3 games on Elevate iOS

    I make a decaf bulletproof coffee and I sit and meditate for 20 mins, move onto 750 words, shower, get dressed and off we go. (Yes Decaf!)

    Then I write 750 Words – at the time of posting this I have written over 750,000 words – and I am one of the slow ones!

    All this has to happen before I leave the house.

    Best Way To Start The Day

    Life does go on if I don’t do this but everything works better when these ‘line items’ are delivered.

    The whole process wakes me up properly, of which sitting still for 20 minutes is even more amazing than you think.

    The most important emotion from the whole thing is the sense of achievement that I get before I have even left the house.

    When I am sleep walking into the tube later in the day, feeling tired and defeated my mind goes back to my morning and I recall that I have already had a Spanish lesson, meditated, practised some maths, grammar and whatever else the elevated app throws up that day AND written 750 words which help me sort my head out.

    Another 750 Words?

    Ah – the 750 words! This could be the secret to the whole thing.

    Some days I just write and hope something will happen and other days I can sit down and make a whole blog on one go.

    This sounds like a piece of piss but please hear me out brothers and sisters.

    It is totally possible to write a blog every day but where it gets super tricky is knowing what you are going to write and one of the key tips in Rachel’s book 2k to 10k is to know what you are going to write.

    Sounds super obvious when you think about it, yet, I would even be able to tell you what I am going to write and then when I sit down to begin, I am stumped.

    How To Write Even More Every Day

    I’ll give you a real time example.

    I have this groundbreaking blog series coming on being a freelancer, I am sure it is the world first. After I hit publish it will be so popular my family will have to go into hiding and I’ll make Elizabeth Gilbert and J.K. Rowling look like Reader’s Digest guest bloggers.

    It is all there and it is all done apart from the writing.

    So to cut to the chase when I followed Rachel’s very short and simple framework the whole thing came together in a morning.

    I had to use some special software, once you have this you’ll be fine.

    Software required: paper and pencil.

     The time required: 4 – 5 minutes.

    I already have the idea so spending a few minutes scribbling on a bit of paper the order it will work out in cut my writing time in half.

    At this point I am tempted to say ‘whatever works for you’ – in my opinion, this is a magnolia and beige disclaimer made by authors and trainers – try a few things with deliberate intent and see how they work or probably don’t work out.

    I learnt this best from food, I stopped eating bread, sugar, meat and dairy and nearly died, it was easier to give up smoking, drink and cocaine than it was to quit these three things.

    One of my favourite breakfasts was a toasted cinnamon bagel with butter, ham and cheese in.

    It was immediately satisfying and then later in the day I wanted to sleep,

    later? I mean 15 minutes later.

    I Am Bored Of Dyslexia And Depression

    Being dyslexic and dealing with depression, everything can be hard. I got to the point in the last couple of  years where I was so fucking bored of everything being the same. 

    Everything that happened seemed to point back to the depression, dyslexia, being too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, etc. Everything I did would hurt me, wound me, upset me and just generally cause a disaster.

    Now the morning routine has me awake and kicking for longer and I don’t have brain fog and going back to the writing bit, forcing myself to think in a new way was the huge breakthrough.

    I hope that my morning routine will inspire you to begin your own.

    Taking the time in the morning to truly focus on what is important has helped guide and drive me and can do the same for you.

    I believe in God and the internet is my religion 😉

    End of Lecture 😉 

    What works for you? 

  • This post is in direct response to Jo Sayer of English-language teaching company ELTJam. When we asked Jo what he wanted people to know most about Trello, this was his response:

    I wish people knew that you could remove the first uploaded image from being the ‘cover’ of the card. Fine if you want an image, but annoying that they’re often left there as default and make the board all hard to digest!

    Well, Jo – good news! We’re helping you spread the word!

    For those not in the know: When you attach an image to a Trello card, it is automatically converted into a ‘cover image’. The cover image is visible even in list view. Too many cover images and your board starts to look like this:

    Trello too many image attachments
    Too many cover images spoil the broth

    So, while making your Trello boards more visually appealing is good for motivation, too many cover images clearly spoil the effect and make the board difficult to use.

    How to remove the Trello cover image

    Luckily it’s easy to remove the cover image again – you don’t have to remove the entire attachment.

    1. Click on the card
    2. Click ‘Remove Cover’ on the image attachment.

    Trello remove cover image
    Two clicks remove the Trello cover image

    How to disable cover images for your Trello board

    When removing the single cover image isn’t enough, switch to the board menu and turn off cover images completely.

    The option is somewhat hidden:

    Menu > …More. > Settings > Card Cover Images Enabled

    Trello disable card cover images
    Remove card cover images permanently from your Trello board

    And that’s all there is to it.

    If you feel as strongly as Jo does about cover images, share the tip with your audience!

    And please tell us what you wish other people knew about Trello.

    Thanks for reading!

  • This week I’d like to talk to you about timeboxing, specifically as a technique for keeping on top of lots of Trello boards. Timeboxing is a proven productivity technique that is often overlooked in favour of to-do lists and goal planners. Trello itself gives you excellent to-do list and project management tools but without an additional timeboxing layer, you can easily get lost in an ever growing mountain of Trello cards. Read on to regain control of your life!


  • “It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times”

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness."
    As you can imagine it took me ages to come up with that beginning.
    There are two things to share with you this week and one of them is an ask.
    Thing One - crowdfunding
    Diego, my "hunk of a brother-in-law" has a side project called rugbyfemenino.com.es
    Here he reports and promotes women's rugby in Spain, it is the number ONE women's rugby site in the Spanish language.
    Diego had his HUGE sports lens stolen from him as he reported on a women's rugby in Madrid, Spain.
    The lens is kinda essential for the project and this is not a paid job, it's a passion project.
    Enter #Supercoolwife (his sister and my wife) who instigated a $1500 crowdfunding campaign to buy a replacement lens. 
    We are 70% of the way there! If it works for you please chip in! I'd mega appreciate it.
    Thing Two. 12 Week Year blues.
    Last week was a living in my head hell in my 12 Week Year mission. This is a deep share rather than a moan.
    As I continue to track what I do it turns out that I am doing less of what I thought I was doing.
    It is £u<king scary how time has shot by in the last nine weeks, the time where I thought I was razor sharp focused on important work goals and, er I was not.
    What depressed me is realising how much time I must have just spunked up the wall over the years.
    It's not all bad
    Feeling sorry for myself is sure way back to depression and I'm not going there again.
    But yet, my habit and comfort zone is to assign fragments of my past mistakes to what is happening right now.
    Of course, this is dumb and energy zapping, so why would I do it?
    Because I have dedicated years of building up this skill and to let all that go would be admitting I was wrong and making a change.
    I am making it, even more kicking and screaming that I am letting out here. It is huge for me to realise this and pluck up the balls to smack feeling sorry myself in the mouth and step into the next stage of life.
    This last year has been exiting depression, straddling the gap between proper depression and feeling sorry for myself and is now in an energising JFDI mode which is painful in spurts, in the way I imagine a good game of rugby to be.
    Hit reply and let me know what you're working on this week! 
    Thanks for reading and have a remarkable week! 
    Love Bernie

    Una lente para Diego! A lens for Diego!
    Una lente para Diego! A lens for Diego!

    2. Un£@ck The World

    The Only Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics Showed Us How To Solve The Climate Crisis
    The Only Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics Showed Us How To Solve The Climate Crisis
    We’re now certain that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. However, rather than reduce green house gas emissions – something that has to happen quite urgently in order to avoid crashing through the safety barrier of 2℃ warming – we continue to pump more into the atmosphere.
    Thus far, the collective international response to climate change has been similar to a frog passively sitting in heated pan of water. We are in danger of being cooked alive from inaction.

    3. How To Serve Your Customer

    What Happened When We Cut Back on Refunds
    What Happened When We Cut Back on Refunds
    In Buffer’s history we’ve tried many different experiments that have soared – or flopped.
    Some with our culture. Some with our management structure (or lack thereof!). Some with launching products.
    If a belief or philosophy hasn’t been examined recently, we like to take a closer look and perhaps try something new. We feel that one of our biggest responsibilities as a transparent company is to share the story of these experiments – what went well, and what went wrong.

    4. Education

    A boy told his teacher she can&apos;t understand him because she is white. Her response is on point.&nbsp;
    A boy told his teacher she can't understand him because she is white. Her response is on point.
    Smith's successful shift in her teaching is an example for teachers everywhere, especially as our schools become increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. About 80% of American teachers are white. But as of last year, the majority of K-12 students in public schools are now children of color.
    As America's demographics change, we need to work on creating work that reflects the experiences that our students relate to. And a more diverse curriculum isn't just important for students of color. It's vital for everyone.

    5. Write Club

    Write Club &quot;Deep Work&quot; @Work Hubs Ever Thursday
    Write Club "Deep Work" @Work Hubs Ever Thursday
    Our weekly Write Club 'Deep Work' is ideal for anyone who writes and needs a block of time to write and gain the inspiration from being around other writers. The group meets every Thursday, writes together and then shoots round to Drummond Street for Lunch!

    created in Publicate

  • Stop right now! What are you working on? Is that actually important? Is it helping you progress your goals? Or are you just making busy time? Answering emails, shifting bundles of paper around?


    We are all living in an increasingly busy world. Unfortunately, time is a finite resource. There are only 24 hours in each day and there are only so many things that you can get done in those 24 hours.

    Stop wasting your time and pick something important to YOU to work on instead!

    It requires a small change to your approach: Your job is NOT to get everything done. Getting everything done is impossible and you will waste your life trying. Instead, at every point in your life, aim to do the one MOST IMPORTANT THING right now.

    Imagine leaving at the end of the day feeling that you’ve accomplished something. And looking back over your week with a sense of achievement. And as you continue working in this way, you will notice that your life takes on new meaning as you start to accomplish the goals that really matter to you.

    Sounds good, right? We’ve put together a quick guide to making this happen, together with an actionable 12-page workbook (free no-signup download at the end of this post). Read on and start putting your life back on track!

    The whole thing breaks down like this:

    1. Get organised – use a single to-do list to capture all your tasks.
    2. Use a review session at the end of each day to celebrate your successes and pick the most important things to work on the next day.
    3. Deal with interruptions as quickly as possible.
    4. Rinse and repeat for a happier, more fulfilled life!

    Are you ready to get started?

    Download our 12-page workbook and take action now

    (no, we don’t need your email address, there is no signup!)

    Let us know how you get on, we’re always interested in productivity questions and success (or failure!) stories.