We've already filled you in on how amazing our Un-Conference was, but thought it might be nice to follow-up with some of the handy bits and pieces we picked up as well. You know, the specifics - some nuts-and-bolts resources that our speakers and attendees were keen on. Chime in at the comments if you've had success with anything here, or have a fave we haven't mentioned!
Apparently this baby blocks the internet, apps and certain websites that you nominate, at certain times. Don't trust yourself? Easily distracted? Us too, on occasion. Seems like a very cheeky little way to stay focused.
Timing is Everything
It has come to our attention that The Pomodoro Technique (developed in the 80s) was named after a tomato shaped kitchen timer. Simple enough, you just set a timer (vegetable-based or not) for 25 minutes and work solidly on one task. There's something about it being a defined and short enough period that means your productivity is ALL GO. You can read more about it here, download some apps, or just set your phone timer perhaps!?
We loved this idea - one of our attendees recommended planning out your day like a school timetable (though hopefully without the dreaded Thursday afternoon double-maths). The idea being that 45 minute blocks of time on certain projects, with 15 minute breaks around the place, will help you stay focused. We thought it might be handy for those of you with a lot of projects on the go at once, so you're chipping away at each of them.
Just reading through this app sounds good: 'Plan your days! Build a routine! Track your wins! Stay motivated!'. What's not to love about that? We here at Make Nice HQ are VERY big on routines. We like order and structure, and if that's new to you and sounds appealing, Productive might be a nice place to start. The rewards part is especially appealing.
A few recommendations from attendees that are especially handy if you're managing a team - Trello and Asana, not to mention our old friend Slack (more on that later). We're told that they're nice for visualising what's on, setting clear goals and delegating tasks, if you're a boss lady.
We know you guys took all the notes when it came to Ann Friedman's keynote, but some things bear repeating. Her Disapproval Matrix is an excellent and objective way to process criticism. It's never easy, and emotions often get in the way, so do yourself a favour and keep this one bookmarked.
We've heard lots about the Bullet Journal business. There's something nice about 'an analog system for the digital world', isn't there? It seems like a detailed concept to wrap your head around, but logical and so damn organised when you get there. Let's hope you've got neat handwriting!
We loved hearing about Motherhood and Creativity by Rachel Power - a very welcome companion to those of you who juggle it all. Stories and experiences from some of Australia's most amazing creative women makes it just our cup of tea.
And by numbers, we mostly mean money. Knowing your numbers is knowing your business. All our speakers were passionate about this one - it's notoriously tricky and has such a huge impact on your ability to create (let alone, you know, pay the bills). QuickBooks and Xero were two of the accounting platforms that came highly recommended. And our friends at Carrots Money have loads of resources (including an upcoming app) that can help you in that department. Their newsletter is a favourite in our inbox.
You just knew we'd be singing the praises of this one! Slack is where we do all our behind-the-scenes Make Nice planning, and where we chat with all our Make Nice community. We have channels set up for 'Articles and Resources' (essentially, this post at large!), 'Jobs, Gigs & Collaborations', 'Travel', 'Events', 'Advice', 'Money & Negotiations', and the all-important 'Winning at Life' where we encourage you to celebrate the good stuff you do. If you haven't already signed up to our community, we'd love to have you.