Top 5 Productivity Apps for iPhone

Today I'm going to share with you my five favorite productivity apps for your phone. I use these apps every single day and they have made a huge difference in how focused and productive I am throughout the day, so I'm really excited to share them with you.


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Productivity App #1: Brain.fm

The first app that I'm going to share with you is called Brain.fm and it is a music app. Confused why a music app is on a list of productivity apps? Keep reading.

I've always loved listening to music when I work. I used to listen to some of Spotify's classical, jazz, or "focus" playlists, but after a while they would get repetitive or the songs would distract me -  which kind of defeats the whole purpose.

Once I tried Brain.fm I was blown away by what a difference I saw.

Brain.fm allows you to choose between 5 mental states: focus, meditate, sleep, nap, and relax and you can also select specific types of sessions as well, like beach, chimes, electronic, rain, anything like that. I always listen to the Focus mental state when I'm working.

I've found that by listening to the Focus mental state, I'm able to get out of my head, stop over-analyzing every decision, and stay focused.

If you want to try Brain.fm, they have a free version where you can listen to 7 sessions for free. I actually bought the lifetime membership because I listen to it so much, so I paid one time and don't have to pay monthly for it ever again. But if you do want to pay for it, the monthly plans start at $3.99.

Productivity App #2: Focus Keeper

The next app is called Focus Keeper which is a timer based on the Pomodoro technique.

I love working in Pomodoros, and if you don't know what that is, it's 25 minutes of focused work, followed by a short five minute break afterwords.

I have shared before that I usually use a physical timer to track my Pomodoro sessions and that's worked great for me, but I was recommended Focus Keeper recently by a friend and I have fallen in love with it! Now I use it instead of my physical timer.

Some of the key features that I love about Focus Keeper are the flexible settings. You can adjust how long your Pomodoro sessions are, how many breaks you want to take, and so much more to really make this technique work for you.

I also love how visually pleasing the timer is, it's always nice to have something that's pretty to look at, and I love that you can set goals for the number of Pomodoros you complete each day.

If you're interested in using Focus Keeper, there is a free version and a $1.99 upgrade in case you want a few more pro features.

Productivity App #3: Productive

The third app I want to share with you is called Productive. Kind of perfect for this video, right? Productive is an easy way to track and measure habits.

When I'm trying to implement several new habits at a time, I love using Productive to help keep them top of mind and help build up my progress.

Productive makes it really easy to add new habits to the system. There are tons of settings for each habit and you can set a habit to recur however frequently you want: multiple times a day, once a day, certain days of the week, every other week, and more!

Plus, there's a huge database of habits that you can choose from if you need help getting started. You can even do fun little color-coded icons to just help make everything even more visually pleasing.

If you're interested in using Productive, there is a free version. I actually upgraded to the paid version for $3.99 and it has been completely worth every penny, but definitely start with the free version first and see how you like it.

Productivity App #4: Asana

The fourth app is Asana, which I use to manage all of my tasks and projects. When I'm on my laptop, I usually use the web version of Asana, but I love that no matter where I am, I always have it on my phone.

I use the iPhone app to check what's on my plate today, ask any questions I have, check the status on projects no matter where I am, and it's so nice to feel like I'm still in the loop no matter what my circumstances.

It's so easy to search, add projects or tasks, and jump between different workspaces. Plus, Asana syncs across all of my devices and the web instantly, so there's no delay in collaborating with my team. Even better, Asana is completely free, so definitely give it a shot.

Productivity App #5: Google Drive

The fifth app is Google Drive which is where I store all of my personal and business files. Being able to access, view, upload, and edit documents while on the go is amazing. It's probably the app that I open up most often throughout the day.

I love that I can create any kind of document no matter where I am. And if I have an idea, I can just make a note right inside the Google Doc and it will sync everywhere.

The Google Drive app is completely free, so you can just download it and start using it right away.

If you really want to be more productive, you need to have a plan for your day!

Now you know my top five productivity apps, but if you truly want to be more productive, you need to know how to plan out your day in advance, so be sure to watch my Plan Your Day video if you haven't yet.


Do you follow me on YouTube yet? 

I publish new videos every Thursday, so be sure to click the button below and subscribe so you can get my best tips and tricks on how to save time running your business! 


What are some of your favorite productivity apps?

Leave them in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to subscribe and share it with your friends, so I know to make more videos just like this!

YEAR IN REVIEW 2016: 7 Life and Business Lessons Learned in 2016

YEAR IN REVIEW 2016: 7 Life and Business Lessons Learned in 2016. In this video, I’m sharing seven lessons I learned in 2016. Hopefully by sharing my lessons, you’ll have a better 2017 and not have to learn these lessons yourself. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/Qkl4OmqsrZw

In this video, I’m sharing seven lessons I learned in 2016. Hopefully by sharing my lessons, you’ll have a better 2017 and not have to learn these lessons yourself.

 

Lesson #1: Practice Gratitude

Lesson number one is to practice gratitude. Now, I've always been a grateful person, but I never actively practiced gratitude in my daily life.

I actually bought a journal called The Five Minute Journal (get 10% off by using the code MEGAN10). And it changed my approach to gratitude, because every morning you take a few minutes and fill it out and part of the exercise is to write three things that you're grateful for, and then on the evening you reflect on the positive things that happened that day.

By going through this and practicing gratitude every day, it allows me to change my focus for the day and instantly go from being in a bad mood and feeling negative about things to feeling really positive and thankful for everything I already have.

 

Lesson #2: Work out regularly.

The second lesson that I learned in 2016 was how important working out is for me. Not only physically, but also mentally.

I have learned that by working out, especially in the morning, I am instantly de-stressed. I get much clearer thinking and get a lot of clarity when I'm working out. And I come up with the best ideas actually when I'm working out, especially if I'm on the treadmill or something. I'll be thinking about business, even unintentionally, and I'll get really great ideas that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

So by taking the time out, getting away from my desk, getting out of the house, and by working out and taking care of my body, it actually frees up my mind to think about things that otherwise I would get too granular on.

Working out has changed everything, not only from a health and wellness perspective, but really from a business perspective. I now feel like working out is essential to having clarity, to being calm, and to having good ideas.

 

Lesson #3: Plan the day in advance.

The third thing I learned in 2016 is how important it is for me to plan my days in advance. I actually already did a video on how I plan my day in advance, so be sure to watch that if you wanna know more about my process.

By planning my day in advance, I get to wake up and immediately start knowing that I'm going through the plan I set out for myself, that I'm taking advantage of my time, and I'm working on what's actually important for my goals and my business instead of just spending the day reacting to other things. Highly recommend planning your days in advance. It is a game changer.

 

Lesson #4: Mindset is the foundation.

The fourth lesson that I learned in 2016 was that mindset is the foundation for everything. I've always been a positive thinker. I've always believed in myself and my abilities. But I also kinda feel like even though I was feeling like I believed in them, there was a part of me deep down that doubted, that was afraid, that was limiting myself.

Then I read a book called You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. It really took my positive thinking and made it real. It made it where I really truly to my core believe in myself and believe that if I set a goal for myself and I work towards it, I can and will achieve it. And you kind of just are suddenly freed from the burden of insecurity. So, highly recommend going through it. 

 

Lesson #5: Write your goals every day.

The fifth thing that I learned in 2016 was how impactful it is to write down your goals every single day. I actually have this really pretty Eat Cake for Breakfast journal that is just lined, and I write in it every single day. And I write the exact same goals every day.

Sometimes I refine them a little bit more or tweak them as I'm writing them, and they do evolve, which is the whole purpose.

I have really big goals for the next year. And as we are beginning 2017, that's where my focus is right now. I'm not really thinking on three years down the road or anything at this point. So every single morning, one of the first things I do is pull out my journal and grab a pen and just write down what those goals are. I elaborate. I get detailed. I get specific.

The first week I started doing this, I already was able to start crossing some things off, because it put it on the forefront of my mind. When I was planning my days in advance, I suddenly was planning things with these big picture goals in mind.

Highly recommend grabbing yourself a pretty journal that you wanna look at every day, and start writing down those goals every single day. I think you'll be really amazed at the progress you see and how quickly you start to see it.

 

Lesson #6: Insecurity, doubt, and fear are a waste of time.

The sixth thing that I learned in 2016 is that insecurity, doubt, and fear are just a complete waste of time. Now, I know that's easier said than done. This was a lesson that I have learned the hard way.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. I definitely have moments of insecurity. But I'm able to come back to some key phrases and remind myself that I can overcome that.

I went to a conference in L.A. in 2016, and one of the things they talked about was mindset and insecurity. And they really talked in an enlightening way for me that if you are truly confident in what you create and you believe it is great and the best you could do with that day and that time, then it doesn't matter what anyone else says. Someone could say something negative about it, and it doesn't affect you, because you know it's the best content you could've done at that time, and you can just not even care anymore what anyone else says and just be confident in the information and the content you're giving to the world.

One of my mottoes for 2017 is to be fearlessly visible. So whenever I have a moment of feeling doubt or insecurity or like I don't wanna be vulnerable, I just remind myself to be fearlessly visible and step into that, and the fear and the doubt just washes away, and I'm just filled with confidence, knowing that I'm doing what I want to be doing and I'm not letting fear, insecurity, or doubt hold me back.

 

Lesson #7: Hiring is a game-changer.

The final lesson that I learned in 2016 is that hiring is a game changer. I have heard this so much since I start my business, that, "Oh, hiring changes everything. "You've gotta hire. "Hire your first person, and it'll change everything "and up-level your business." But I'm not sure I really believed it.

I didn't feel like my business was worthy of a team. I didn't feel like I was worthy of a team. I think I was afraid of the commitment of hiring a team.

But I did take the plunge at the end of 2016 and I hired two team members. I hired a video editor, and then I hired a virtual assistant. And it has been a game changer.

I fully believe in what everyone else was saying before that I was ignoring. If you have serious goals, if you have a lot that you wanna work towards, hire a virtual assistant. There's definitely things you're doing right now that you could delegate and add to someone else's plate so that you have more time to focus on what you should be doing for your business, the moneymakers in your business and not the administrative tasks.

I love having a team now. It's very fulfilling and rewarding. And the motivation, knowing that I need to pay people, is actually a benefit. I think it was something that scared me, and now, to me, it's an asset.

Having a team and having that obligation or pressure to pay people makes me feel even more encouraged to earn that money, and I think it's a bigger motivator. So hiring is a game changer.

And if you've been putting it off, and if you're doing too much in your business and you're not meeting your goals, I think it's because it's time for you to hire. So definitely go find a virtual assistant and start delegating some stuff, and you're gonna be amazed at what it does to you, to your mindset, and for your business.

 

So those are the seven lessons that I learned in 2016.

I hope hearing them is helpful for you. Maybe it's given you a few aha moments. I'd love to hear if that's true in the comments below. And hopefully this'll help you have an incredible 2017!

If this video was helpful, be sure to subscribe, share with your friends, and hit the like button so I know to make more videos like this. I'll see you in the next one. 

 

How To Create a Content Calendar Using Asana

Today I'm going to show you how to create and manage your content calendar using a project management system called Asana.

By following these simple steps you'll have a content calendar that makes it so easy for you to create content consistently for your business!


Don't have a process in place for creating content?

Download my exact Content Process Template below for free!


Step #1: Create a project in Asana for your content calendar.

The first step is to create a new project in Asana for your content calendar. You could just name it content calendar, or if you want to get more specific feel free.

Since I do YouTube videos every Thursday, mine is called YouTube Videos. I have a podcast one and that's called Podcasts. It could say Blog Posts or you can just leave it at Content Calendar. Whatever works for you, just go ahead and and make that project and name it.

Then Asana will ask you to choose between a board or a list. Now this is a new feature at the time I'm recording this. Asana just rolled out the boards feature where you can either have your projects as lists, which is what Asana used to only offer, or now you can have boards, which are more visual columns. It's really great for those processes where a visual element is helpful. Make sure you choose board instead of list, because that's what I'm going to be showing you through this process. 

Now that you have your project created, create 5 columns within this board:

  1. To Write / Record
  2. To Edit
  3. To Schedule / Publish
  4. To Promote
  5. Published
 

Step #2: Create a new task in Asana to act as your template.

Step number two is to create a new task, and it will be your template. We're going to build out a template for every piece of content.

For me, I do YouTube videos, so I have a process that I go through for every single video I create. If you have a blog or you do a podcast, I'm sure you have your own process as well. We're going to go ahead and build that out. Create a new task, call it Template, and make sure you put this new task in the first column on your board. You're going to use this over and over again so you want to make sure it stands out and it's right at the beginning of your process. 

Now go in and flush out all of the steps that go into your process. I like doing this in the subtasks of this template. Go ahead and really flush this out. Copy and paste if you already have this document in somewhere else. Don't forget to fill out the description and anything else that you need to help make this process as easy as possible.

In case you aren't sure how to get started with a content process, maybe you don't have anything documented or you don't have a process down, don't worry. I've got you covered. I actually have a free content process template that you can download and start with this, and then customize it for you, your business, your team, and your content. 

 

Step #3: Make a copy of the template task for each new piece of content.

Now you have your template task created, we're going to use this as a template for every piece of content you want to create.

Just go ahead and open up that template task. Click the three dots in the right corner, and then select make a copy.

This is how you're going to use something as a template over and over again.

Now name the new task the name of your piece of content. Maybe it's the title of your blog post or the name of your video, or the podcast episode, whatever it is helpful, even just a topic if that is all you know so far. 

Then go ahead and make the due date the date this piece of content gets published. This is just a really great reference point so at a glance you can see when it really needs to be done by.

Then go ahead and assign the task to yourself or assign it to your content manager. I am my business's content manager so it's totally fine if this is all just you. You don't have to assign it to other people, but by still assigning these things to you, it's going to be really top of mind. It's going to be in your task list every day, so definitely go through the step of assigning it to you or whoever is managing your content process. 

Don't forget to give the subtasks due dates and assignees as well based on your process. I know for my team I have a video editor and I have a virtual assistant, so most of the tasks are on me to write the script, record, upload, schedule the blog post, all that good stuff. But I do have a team that is helping me along the way. Make sure you're assigning content and tasks to whoever is supposed to do them on your team. 

 

BONUS Pro-Tips:

Now you have your content calendar built out in Asana. Way to go, you! I do have a few pro tips to help make this process even easier and seamless.

PRO-TIP #1: Keep it updated.

Make sure you keep it up to date, especially if you are the only person on your team or you are your content manager.

If you let these tasks go out of date and you're not updating them or marking them complete, this process will fall apart. That goes with any project management system in any process, but specifically for this we want this process to work for you, so make sure you're checking in every day, marking tasks complete as you've done them, changing due dates if you need to give yourself a little extension. All that's totally fine, but just make the effort to go in and keep it updated. 

PRO-TIP #2: Get detailed.

Another tip is to get detailed. Write out all of the information that you and your team need within these tasks. I think mine always has the actual ... in the description it will have the time things are getting published. I will put the full title. I'll put what the content upgrade is. Any important information I put that into the description. I'm always attaching files. Part of my process is updating a spreadsheet with certain links, whether it's the YouTube link or the blog post link or the content upgrade landing page. I actually attach that Google Drive spreadsheet into the relevant task. Then it's just really easy for us to do it. You can just click it right from within Asana. You don't have to open up Google drive separately.

Get detailed. It's okay if this process evolves as you're doing it. That's great. That's really actually ideal. This will evolve with you and your process. But go ahead and get as specific as you can right now. 

PRO-TIP #3: Communicate within Asana.

You also want to make sure that you and your team are communicating within Asana.

Now if you have a system like Slack set up, I understand it's sometimes easier to communicate in there. That's okay. But for task-related questions, we have a really good policy about communicating in the task. It's just a great reference point. We can always go back and see what that conversation was. It's stored in a more permanent way than slack, where unless you're paying, which I always do the free version, some of those messages will go away. I think you have 10,000 messages in slack. You get the point.

Keeping it in Asana is just a great way to always have a reference point of what the answer was and to update the process, and just keep it all within Asana. We want to avoid using emails for internal communication as much as possible. 

PRO-TIP #4: Designate a content manager.

The last tip I have for you is to designate a content manager. I kind of touched on this earlier, but even if it's just you, making that official designation that you are the content manager or your virtual assistant is your content manager, or you have hired a content manager, whoever it is, designate it. Because that person is the one who's going to move the task throughout this workflow. We made those original columns, and someone needs to be making sure that they're moving to record, to edit, to publish. Someone needs to move through that process. That's the person who the task has probably been assigned to.

Then also, just making sure things are getting done, holding your team accountable for due dates, holding you accountable for your due dates. I totally get how easy it is to forget about them sometimes. But designating a content manager, even if it's just you, will give you new authority and new ownership over your content process. 

 

If you don't have a process set up right now for creating content, you're starting from zero.

That's why I'm sharing my exact content creation process with you as a worksheet. Don't forget to download the content creation process below, so you can start creating content consistently right away.

 

How do you manage your content calendar process right now?

Leave your tips in the comments below this video.

If you thought this video was helpful, be sure to subscribe, share it with your friends, and hit the like button so I know to make more videos like this! I'll see you in the next one! xo

How to Create SMART Goals for Your Business

How to Create SMART Goals for Your Business

Today I'm going to teach you how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your business.

By following this process, you're going to take your original goals and turn them into S.MA.R.T. goals that you can (and will!) actually achieve.

What is a smart goal? When I say "smart" goal, I'm actually referring to the acronym S.M.A.R.T..

S.M.A.R.T. stands for...

How To Break Bad Habits and Create New Habits In 5 Easy Steps

How To Break Bad Habits and Create New Habits In 5 Easy Steps

Today I'm going to teach you how to break your bad habits and create new ones instead.

By following the five simple steps I have for you, you're going to start breaking those bad habits and replacing them with newer, better ones, right away.

Step #1: Ask why and ask it twice!

Number one is to ask yourself why you have the bad habit, and ask it twice. The reason we want to ask why and ask it twice, is we want to get to the real root of the problem here.

For example, if your bad habit is that you oversleep in the morning, or you press snooze too many times, the problem isn't necessarily just that you're oversleeping. If that's what your bad habit is, ask yourself why you have it. Why do you oversleep? Why do you press snooze?

Your answer might be because you're tired. You're just too tired to wake up that early.

But that's also not really the root of this. Ask yourself why one more time. Why are you too tired in the morning? The answer might because you stay up too late.

You just simply stay up too late, so you're too tired that early in the morning. That's the real why. That's the real issue here...