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Time.

It's a precious resource.

Yes, if you lose money, you can make it back, but once your time is used, it'll never return.

With this in mind, our guest, Scott Friesen, who is a productivity expert, will help you better organize your time by introducing us to some great tools.

During this interview, you'll discover...

  • The power of Asana, Slack and Trello when it comes to project management and communication

  • Why note-taking apps such as Evernote and Google Keep can help you store your ideas and give your overworked brain a break

  • Why the Pomodoro Technique could be a time management strategy that changes your business life forever

To find out more about Scott and his company, Simpletivity, click here.

To watch Scott's productivity videos, visit his YouTube channel at this link.


EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION

Michael Palmer: 01:38 Welcome back to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I'm your host, Michael Palmer, and today's guest is our go-to guy when it comes to all things related to productivity for this podcast, he runs Simpletivity where he offers training and consulting and now he's back on the show. Welcome, Scott Friesen.

Scott Friesen: 01:55 Hey Michael, glad to be back on the podcast.

MP: 01:56 Oh, it's great to have you. And I know our listeners love hearing from you. They always get a productivity boost, uh, or improve how they do things. They, they're able to work a lot smarter and get more done and have less stress. And that's your promise to the world, isn't it? 

SF: 02:14 That that's exactly it. You know, the, the name, uh, simple productivity as it suggests, the combination of, of simple and productivity. Um, you know, my goal is to, is to help people to, to get more out of their day, to get more out of their schedule and to get more out of their business, but to try and keep it simple at the same time. I, I honestly believe that, uh, we are all at our effective best when we keep things simple. So that's my, uh, that's my aim. 

MP: 02:42 I think you're accurate. And I think bringing simplicity to anything. I mean, we live in a very complex world, it seems at times and I think a lot of that is just so many different apps, so many different tools we can use. A world is moving so quickly, but yet if we stop, take a look around and we're still human beings, we still breathe, we still eat, we still have family members, all that good stuff. So bringing some simplicity to your life I think is super important. And Hey, it, what a, what a perfect time. Like anytime to bring a little more simplicity to our life. Now before we jump into everything, Scott, for those that haven't had an opportunity to listen to your episodes in the past, please share a little bit of your backstory for the listener. 

SF: 03:29 Sure, sure. So I, you know, I started my career in the software and technology industry and I was a software product manager for a number of years. And for those who may not be familiar with that title, a software product manager is basically managing the life cycle of one or more software applications. So that's everything from, you know, what are the new features? Are we going to be, uh, including in the next release? What new products, what new services are we going to be providing to our customers or, or potential customers? And you're dealing a lot with deadlines and very tight, uh, milestones as you're dealing with a variety of different stakeholders. And something that I've found over my time as a product manager is that I'd have a number of my coworkers, a number of my colleagues come to me and say, you know, Scott, you seem to really have it all together. 

SF: 04:25 You, you rarely miss a deadline. You and your team seem to always be on, on top of, of everything. You've got really good communication. How do you do it? And I found myself sort of taking people off the side of my desk and, and teaching them some of the things that I have learned. Also some of the things that I had developed myself to stay on top of all of my tasks and manage all of my projects. And you know, I found myself enjoying this so much, uh, teaching others and helping people do this. I decided to branch out and start teaching people how to be more productive, how to manage their time a little more wisely. And that's what led me to where I am today as a coach, as a consultant, as a productivity specialist, a here with a simple activity. 

MP: 05:15 Beautiful. And you've, and you've worked with a lot of bookkeepers as well. 

SF: 05:20 I have, I've had a, a real pleasure to work with a number of bookkeepers both across Canada and the US speaking at a number of conferences and, and delivering webinars and, and training. So, uh, yeah, I really feel a strong bond and strong kinship with the, uh, with the bookkeeper community. Uh, really thankful for their support. But I think it also shows that it, it really has struck a nerve, uh, you know, in an industry which has a lot of deadlines, a lot of customers, a lot of commitments, a lot of things going on where my type of training and my type of help can, can really benefit those types of businesses.

MP: 05:58 Yeah. And you know, it's, it's interesting when it comes to the life of a bookkeeper, there's a couple of things that I've heard people mentioned and I, they've been called workaholics. And I think it's, I hate to say that because it's, you know, it's kind of a negative thing to think about, but a lot of them work a lot of hours and, and I, and I think the community wants to find ways to, to still have a life, still be able to make the income that they want to make, have the business that they, they want to have, but yet have also the life that they want to have. And it's, it's kind of an interesting situation with, with bookkeepers in that, I mean, the pro is that it never ends. The work never ends. It never stops. But at the same time without boundaries and limits that can be really detrimental to a person's mental health around the work that there is to do. What, what are your thoughts? 

SF: 06:50 Absolutely, absolutely. You know, one of the first things I say to a number of my clients is that you will never accomplish everything that you want to do. And I often get a dumb look back at me saying like, well, wait a minute, aren't, aren't you? Are productivity specialists? Aren't you supposed to help me accomplish everything that I want to do? And you know, when I repeat that phrase, you will never complete everything that you want to do. I'm not just referring to your, you know, your business or your day to day tasks. I often just explode that open even into our, into our lives. I mean, we have on average 50 to 60,000 different thoughts each and every day. We've got new and great ideas and an awful lot of, okay ideas going off in our mind all of the time. 

SF: 07:40 But just because you've had that thought, right? Just because you had that idea or you've jotted down that note doesn't necessarily mean that you should be pursuing it, right? It doesn't necessarily mean that you should be accomplishing absolutely everything that comes across your inbox that comes across your voicemail or that just pops into your head. We need to be selective. And so what I often tell people that it's not necessarily about getting more things done in a given day or in a given week. It's about getting the right things done. And if you can pinpoint, if you can identify the right things, the things that are giving you the most value to your business or the most value to your time, well then you can enjoy that time away from work. Or you can enjoy that time, you know, away from your computer or away from your desk. But if we're not choosing wisely, if we're not prioritizing correctly, that can make it a lot more difficult. 

MP: 08:38 Absolutely. And you know, I'll speak for myself personally. I think there's a lot of, a lot of it, there are things I do that are time wasters, but yet I'm addicted to doing it even though I know I shouldn't be doing it.

SF: 08:56 Well, there's some really interesting research that is showing that we have started to rewire our brains and not necessarily in a good way, you know, with all of the technology that is at our disposal with the onslaught of social media, with the variety of ways that you and I can communicate with each other or communicate with the world. We tend to be bouncing back and forth between this app and that app and this piece of technology and our smartphone and our laptop and our tablet and everything else. And what's starting to happen is this switching back and forth is actually giving our brains a shot of dopamine. And if you know anything about dopamine, that's sort of our, our, our pleasure release, right? Like we liked that. We liked that feeling. As we go back and forth, we, we get a shot of dopamine when we, when we gamble, we get a shot of dopamine when we drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, some things that are maybe not so great in our lives and it gives us that same type of kick in our lives. 

SF: 09:57 And so what's happening as we bounce back and forth, five seconds here and five seconds there, is that our brain starts to like that more and more. So we start to do it more and more. And of course, a serious problem that a lot of us are facing is the ability to focus on a particular piece of work or maybe just to focus on a particular conversation for a specific period of time. So yeah, we, we have to be careful because we're starting to, uh, reward our brain by going back and forth and not really engaging with some of our most important work. 

MP: 10:40 Really interesting. I mean, just the science behind it and how it's affecting our daily lives. I mean, this is, this can be a big problem. Now you've worked with bookkeepers. What do you see as being some of their worst time-wasters? What's getting the bookkeepers every day? 

SF: 11:00 Well, I think for a lot of us, and especially bookkeepers, it comes down to communication. And you know, I, I work with a lot of people with helping them to manage their email more effectively. Although we have so many other areas of communication and ways that we communicate with our internal teams, but also our external clients. You know, email remains the number one form of business communication, even if there are other tools available to us. You know, most of us are spending a large part of our day in email. And so that, that's really where it, where it starts for a number of my clients is, is trying to spend less time in email. And one of the ways that you can do that is just by batching the amount of time you spend in your inbox. So for example, it may mean by starting your day with a solid 30 minutes or maybe even upwards of an hour in email, but then minimizing your inbox for the next few hours. 

SF: 11:56 Right. Get, get back to that other project, get ready for that important meeting that you have coming up or maybe as you're reviewing the numbers or your year-end report that you can give it the full attention that it deserves. But there are other pieces of human communication technology that can assist with this. One of those apps, which I know a number of your listeners use is something called slack and slack has gotten a lot of attention, a lot of popularity over the last four to five years. And for those who may not be familiar with this app, slack aims to really focus your conversations by certain themes or what slack calls channels. So you know, a really big complaint that a lot of us have is that when we're dealing with email, as we're going through our email, you know, the conversations are unrelated. 

SF: 12:46 I may be looking at an email from a client and then the very next one is from a teammate. And then the very next one might be a, a personal email or, or something related to a conference that I'm attending a few weeks in a few weeks' time. What slack aims to do is it allows you to create specific channels. It could be a project, it could be a key client. You get to decide what those channels are, what those themes are. But then you can have a much more focused conversation with other people who have access to those slack channels. So if you and I are working on a particular project and maybe we have another teammate who is working on that project, we can have that whole project including attachments and including other files and documentation, all very much focused within that slack channel rather than trying to search for that particular file or a search for that particular method in, uh, in email. So that's often a tool that I know a number of bookkeepers are either using or at least experimenting with or considering using as an alternative or a way to at least spend a little less time with an email. 

MP: 13:57 Yeah, I liked the idea of, of the time blocking and batching out an email. And you know, the, the thing about you, you mentioned dopamine and went with email when I know when I go into it, and I'm sure it's very similar for listener right now is I ran my email and as you mentioned, one emails from a team member, one emails from a client, one emails a personal, and they all have different, I have different reactions to those different emails based on what it means to me, what it has. You know, maybe it's a, a customer has a problem, maybe there's, you know, and then the next minute I'm getting, you know, a picture of my son from my wife. You know, these are like, it's like a roller coaster of emotions, which can be, I think it's exhausting. So to, to be able to limit, like you say, that experience and using something like slack perhaps, well I think would really help. You're going to get the same sort of things done in a day. But without those emotional roller coasters, it must be less draining for people. 

SF: 14:58 Well, well that's right. And, and you, you've, you've given a great example there of contrasting, bouncing back and forth between different messages, different people on completely different topics versus spending some quality time. Even if it is just five or 10 minutes on a specific problem or a specific project. And, and again it allows you to go that much deeper into that situation, really engage with that conversation or with that problem or however you're trying to address that particular issue rather than just quickly going through things. And I think a lot of us, you know, fail ourselves by rapidly going through our email inbox as if it's a to-do list and we want to check off as many things as we can in the shortest amount of time possible. You know, I think one of the dangers of email is that, you know, when you read a new email it changes color or there'll be something else in your email application that that alters telling you that you've read it. 

SF: 15:58 And of course if you reply to an email, you get a different icon beside that message telling you that you've replied to it. And this gives us very much sort of the same effect as crossing something off of a to-do list or putting a checkmark by a task. We like that feeling, yet that makes us feel good. However, when it comes to email, in many cases we haven't actually done a whole lot. Right? Just because you've read the message, it doesn't really mean that you've done much to solving that problem or actually pushing that project forward. But when we tell ourselves, well, you know what, I just went through 25 emails, that tends to make us feel good. So then we're drawn to go back to email again and again and again. And like you said, referencing the dopamine example, it's like these micro wins or these quick wins, but they don't necessarily add up to a whole lot at the end of the day. 

MP: 16:53 Absolutely. And I think it's, I think it's also an again, that you might win for a while, but eventually, you're gonna lose because there's no limit to the number of things that will hit that list. And like you say, there's, you can't do everything. We can't do everything yet. If we're trying to get our inbox to zero all the time, which feels great. I mean, the whole concept of having no emails to deal with, right? It's like wow, bliss. But yet if I won that game, I want to get there, but tomorrow I could get 250 emails because of whatever happens and now I'm feeling bad because I can't get to zero. 

SF: 17:30 That's right. That's right. You know, speaking of games or gamification and that is a problem that I do see. Although you know, the concept of inbox zero, uh, can be very, very helpful. A lot of people have the misconception that they need to keep their inbox at zero and that's not really, you know, the whole idea of that particular email management system. But one of the things that I recommend to a lot of my clients, whether it's email or whether it's other aspects of their job, is to make use of a timer. Now you could install a very simple timer app on your desktop computer, or of course, we all have a timer built into our smartphones. You don't even have to download anything. It comes pre-installed as a part of your clock app. And what I encourage people to do is to set a certain limit as to how long are they going to engage with email before moving onto something else. 

SF: 18:27 Or even if it's not email, maybe they're working on a particular report, set a timer for 45 minutes and when it goes off reevaluate, should you engage with this particular task a little while longer or do you have other things on your list? Do you have other things in your day that you need to transition to? Uh, one of the problems that I see time and time again is that people do get engaged with a particular project, but maybe for too long of a period and then suddenly they say, oh my goodness, I still have 17 things I need to get done today. So at times, it can be a great way to sort of set a settle limit. You can put it in the background. I'm not suggesting that you have something staring at you in the face, set a timer on your smartphone. And then just put it back in your, in your pocket or on the side of your desk and then when it goes off you can reevaluate where you need to be and what you should be doing next. 

MP: 19:19 I love that idea and I have used it in the past but I have not been applying it of late and actually it's been on my mind a lot lately. This whole concept of having a timer is very powerful yet I want to get one of those ones that you wind up. It looks like a, it's like an a, I think they call it an egg timer. Right?

SF: 19:35 Right.

MP: 19:36 And it's just old school. Right. But we're talking about simple, right. Take it and got, getting back to basics. I like the idea of being able to just say, Oh, you know what? I'm going to do five minutes or 10 minutes, 2030 whatever it is, but blocking not off. Even with appointments coming, like what I find happens to me is I'll have, you know, have a call at the top of the hour scheduled. 

MP: 19:59 I have to call someone, someone's calling me now. If they're calling me, that's the timer right there. It's going to go off. I'm going to pick up the phone. But if I have to call somebody, I find if there's like 15 minutes, it's like, well I'm not going to sit here and look at a clock for 15 minutes, so I start doing work. What do I typically do? I'll go work on some email. Then what happens? It's now you know, 1105 and I'm late because I've gotten into this like the state of, you know, working on some problem or reading some email or trying to get through the list. Uh, so I like the idea that being able to, to a keep myself in check, but as we'll be able to set, you know, set something where I'm going to, as you say, work on something for a set point of time and then change it up. Is there an optimal time for doing certain things? 

SF: 20:46 That's a fantastic 

SF: 20:48 question and there has been a, some good research around that. There is one technique that some of your listeners may have heard of before called the Pomodoro technique. And Pomodoro is Ictaluridae for tomato. It actually originated speaking of a traditional windup timer, uh, I guess in Italy there is this a tomato timer, um, called a Pomodoro timer that you can, uh, that you can use and a traditional Pama Daryl length is 25 minutes that you select ahead of time, you know, what project or what tasks are you going to engage with. You set the timer for 25 minutes and then you do everything that you can, you know, you give it its full attention for that length of time before the timer goes off. Now to sort of complete that cycle, you're supposed to take a few minutes break, right? Take something maybe three or five minutes to, to stand up or walk away from your desk for a moment and then come back and engage for another 25 minutes. 

SF: 21:47 However, I'm sure there's some of you are probably thinking 25 minutes doesn't seem like a terribly long period of time. Uh, other research has shown that 52 minutes and yes, I said 52, not 50, 55, not an hour, but that 52 minutes is around the optimal time. So just under an hour and then we start to disengage with our work. Then we start to sort of lose our focus. So that might be another length that some of your listeners may want to try or experiment with. I know myself, I like to engage with work for around 50 minutes, just under an hour. When I'm working on my projects in the morning, that's when I tend to do my, my most complex or my most deep thinking work is in the morning. So I'll work for a prolonged period of time. However, when it comes to the afternoon, I find that my energy is starting to wane a little bit. So I will condense that to more of a 25 minute or maybe 30 minute period before taking some short breaks. So it's worth, um, you know, maybe experimenting with those two numbers and then finding which one works best for you.

MP: 23:02 I like it. and you know, I, there's another, um, I believe it's Parkinson's law that work fills up the time allotted and so a timer will likely increase the uh, the, the productivity because you, if you take 30 minutes to do something or an hour to do something, the same thing. The law states that if I get if it ta, if you give yourself an hour, it will take an hour. If you give yourself 30 minutes, it's more likely to take 30 minutes so we can get more done, have the experience of getting more done by just using something like this egg timer or tomato timer and setting that optimal time and then take a break and come back to it. 

SF: 23:45 That's absolutely right.

MP: 23:46 And I know that there are probably some people listening to this who are thinking, you know, working with a timer sounds restrictive. I know when I introduced this to a number of, of my clients, a lot of them are a little skeptical because they think, you know, that just sounds really restrictive. It doesn't seem free-flowing that I can go from this thing to that thing and re be more intuitive with my work. But I like to explain that in many cases it's just the opposite and that it's very, very freeing. And I love the example that you gave just a few moments ago about something that you know is coming up. Maybe it's coming up in 30 minutes. We'll instead of glancing at the clock instead of glancing at your wristwatch or your smartphone every couple of minutes to see if that time has come or not, you can set the timer and get completely lost. 

MP: 24:32 And I mean lost in a good way. Get completely lost in your work. Get completely focused on what you are engaged with. You know, some people may recall that many years ago there was a TV infomercial, I think it was a rotisserie chicken device where Ron Popeil would say set it and forget it. But I think he's the one who coined that term. Well, I like to use that when it comes to working with a timer. You can set the timer and then forget it. Get completely engaged in your email, for example, get completely engaged with the report that you're working on. Maybe even get completely engaged with the conversation that you're having and then when the time is up, let the technology do the work for you. That is your reminder and now you can decide what to do next. So I spend a very little part of my day looking at a clock or even glancing at a clock. 

MP: 25:21 I let the timer do the hard work for me so I can get fully engaged with the work that's in front of me. That's cool. Well, I'm taking on the timer thing right after I have this conversation with you. I am going to order a timer and I'm going to do that on Amazon because I love shopping on Amazon because it comes right to my door. I don't even have to go find where would I find an ache, Scott, where would I find an egg timer on this day?

SF: 25:49 That's probably would be my suggestion as well. Start Online. Start with something like, Amazon.com to see what you can see, which you can find, you know, you might be able to find something in your, an in your local, a department store, something along those lines. But, uh, but yeah, get and get creative too. If this is something that you're going gonna bring into your office or, or put on your desk, you know, don't just pick something, I mean, pick something that's functional, something that actually works, but you know, maybe, uh, maybe spend a few bucks and, and, and pick something that 

SF: 26:15 you actually liked to look at or that a, that you're going to look forward, uh, to use going forward. Beautiful. One, one. When I select it and I have it, I'm going to put it on to our, uh, our Twitter feed and our Facebook page. And, uh, and I hope the listener will do the same because I think this whole concept of, you know, we've kind of landed on talking about this using a timer and time blocking and, uh, setting it and forgetting it. Uh, I love that concept and I love the, I love the little tagline, set it and forget it. And so I, I'd love to hear what others have, what our listener, if they're an already doing it, do they already have timers? Are they using some sort of a timer app? Whatever it is, share it on the Facebook page and the Facebook group. 

MP: 26:57 We'd love to, we'd love to hear about it. Now moving on to Apps, right? There's all these different apps, apps that will help us get more done. What are, so you talked about slack already and I think slack is, you know, it's definitely, I mean very, very popular not only with, uh, with some of our listeners but as well just the business world. It's incredible how many people are adopting slack, but what other apps are out there, maybe ones that we may not have heard of or things that are up and coming. What are your thoughts there? 

SF: 27:28 Well, you know, a couple of apps that have also gained some traction, but maybe not as much penetration in the, in the bookkeeping area than I have assumed in the past. Our a Trello and Asana, Trello and Asana are somewhat similar in that they're both in sort of the project management space. They're, their main objective is to help you to collaborate with others and help you to organize your information, organize all of your tasks so you can stay on top of, of all of your work. Now there are some distinct differences between the two. A Trello has a much more visual interface, so for those who who, um, maybe a enjoy a more visual workflow, perhaps those who who really enjoy putting post-it notes up on a whiteboard or upon a blank wall and then moving them around or really enjoy brainstorming on a whiteboard or a chalkboard, a Trello might be a, a great solution or a great alternative for you. 

SF: 28:27 A sauna is maybe a little bit more like a traditional to-do list or a true traditional project management list, but it makes it very, very easy to, to collaborate with, collaborate with others. Both of these tools can support documentation and attachments. Uh, of course, the standard functionalities such as adding a due date and adding different labels and flags if you want. That type of indicator or notifications are, are built right into it. But incredibly flexible tools. And the one thing that is great about, about both of these tools is that, uh, they're absolutely free to, uh, to begin with. And I know a lot of bookkeepers who are making use of just the free version so you can make little to no investment in these applications. You can start using them, you can start playing with them, seeing if they will be effective for your business or effective for your team. And of course, if you'd like to make use of some of the more advanced features, you can always upgrade to one of their more premium plans. 

MP: 29:31 Trello is fantastic and I have not used a Santa's, but we use Trello in our business religiously. And it is such a, such an incredible app. Very, but you know, I, what I find with Trello or any of these apps I'm sure is that if you've never used it, it can be challenging to understand, well how do I make this work for myself? What is the, what is a good use case? How is there something or a resource that you have Scott, that that would help give people an idea of how they can start to use it in their own business? 

SF: 30:06 Yeah. Well speaking of Trello, Trello has a really strong and wonderful community of users and one of the great things that you can do is start by something as simple as putting in a search for Trello along with your business. So you might want to start by just typing in Trello, bookkeeping or Trello accounting or even something a bit more specific, a, depending on your purposes or, or what you are trying to achieve. And the great thing is that many people have made their Trello boards public or there are a lot of great blog articles and blog posts that show how others are making use of their Trello boards. And I know I've used that myself for inspiration. Even if you go to the official trello.com website, they have an entire page, I believe it's trello.com/inspiration where you can see literally hundreds of examples of how people are using their Trello boards in different industries and for different projects. 

SF: 31:07 Now another really good resource if people are wanting to learn the ins and outs of Trello, not only how they can set up their Trello boards, but how they can use maybe some of the more advanced features or features that they may not be aware of would actually be my very own Simpletivity youtube channel. In fact, over the past year, year and a half, I've sort of become known as the Trello guy. And if you do a search for Trello on Youtube, chances are you're going to be finding several of my videos. So if you're wanting to learn a bit more about some of the power-ups in Trello, if you're wanting to learn about some of the latest features that Trello has introduced in the past year, I would encourage you to, to check out Simpletivity on youtube. 

MP: 31:59 I think it's a cool app. It's a, it, like you say, it's free it man. If you haven't heard of it, you're listening, you haven't heard of it. It's definitely worth taking a look at even just to manage a few of your own projects. Personal. I mean it, it is really, really helpful. I've enjoyed using it and I think it's easy to use. But again, I think it takes, take that tip from, from, from Scott, go and, and watch how he's using it and how he's recommending to use it because it can be overwhelming and you can end up with just big massive things. Spend a little bit of time to set your egg timer to 20 minutes and you know, watch a couple of videos on it before you get started. Perfect. So, so what else we got Scott? 

SF: 32:40 There's, you know, we're almost out of time, but are there any other apps that you want to make sure people are taking a look at and paying some attention to? You know, maybe the last thing I'll leave you with is selecting a really good note-taking app or a note application. And you know, one of my recommendations is for people to use Evernote or at least something like Evernote. Evernote is a very, very flexible tool for a quickly capturing, whether it's a text note, whether it's an audio recording, uh, which can then automatically translate that into text. Whether you're taking pictures of things. Evernote makes it so easy for you to capture that information. And you know, I think one of the things that brings a lot of stress into our work lives is that we sort of keep all of these things on the top of our mind or the or the weight of the world it feels like is on our shoulders because we haven't properly put those ideas or put those meeting notes or whatever it may be in a safe location, a location that we can come back to. 

SF: 33:48 And review at a later time. So I really encourage people to, to select a good note-taking app. Evernote is a, is a great solution. Google keep is also a very good solution, especially if you happen to be using other Google products like Gmail or, or Google drive. But, uh, both Evernote and Google keep a great way so you can access your notes on any device no matter where you are working. But, uh, but again, the flexibility of it. I mean one of the features that, uh, that I love to show off with apps such as Evernote or Google keep is that you can take a picture or scan in a picture of a, of a document or take a picture of a poster or something that you see when you're out, uh, away from the office. And these apps will automatically convert the text into searchable text. 

SF: 34:38 Not only can you pull that text into a separate note or into a separate text document, but then you can search for those images based on the text that is in that particular picture. So it makes it really, really easy to, to grab those pieces of information. And a, you know, what's quicker than, than recording a quick audio note. Right? Sometimes we don't want to get out and, and use our thumbs to jot down three sentences. How about take just five seconds and speak directly into your smartphone and you've got it. You've got that idea, you know where it is and you can come back and review it later on in the day. It's beautiful. I'm a big user of Evernote. I have not heard of Google keepers, so that's new for me. Curious to take a look now. It's Kinda funny, my mother was out, uh, about six, seven months ago and she was talking into her phone and I'm like, what are you doing? And she, she said, oh, I, you know, instead of typing this text message, I'm just clicking on the tiny microphone 

SF: 35:38 and it's, it's doing the transcription for me into my text, into my text messages. I'm like, that's cool. I didn't even know that I could do that. And I didn't know how good it was. And so I started using that about seven months ago and it's been incredible around just actually being able to get notes, text messages, emails. I can just talk into this thing now. This is an apple phone. I'm not sure how it works on android or any of the other ones, but on apple it's an incredibly useful tool just right there on the keyboard, whether it's ever known, whether I'm using email, whether I'm using a text message just to get my ideas out and then I can edit it from there. 

MP: 36:18 Yeah. You know, the voice recognition technology has really come a long way. And I think it wasn't too long ago, you know, maybe a couple of years ago where you would find yourself having to make a revision for every third word or, or spelling mistakes. And I think those days are over. Yeah. Whether you're an Apple user or whether you're an android user, you, you still might find a particular word that they, uh, misinterpret. But it is amazing how accurate it has become. And, and yeah, it can make your life so much easier and so much more efficient. 

MP: 36:49 And I think the key message there, whether you're doing any of it, whether you're just using a pencil and a piece of paper, is the key here that you're trying to get across in my opinion, is get the stuff out of your head, get it onto digital, get it onto paper, get it out of your head so that it's not jumbling up the brain and crowding out the space a bit so that you can relax, sleep better at night, and be able to focus better when you're doing the work that you need to do. 

SF: 37:18 Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I mentioned before, my background is in technology and software. I like to make the analogy that our brains are a fantastic processor, but a very poor, hard drive. And if you know anything about hard drives, hard drives are all about storage. And some of us try to treat our brains as if it's just a big hard drive right there. We're just going to throw information out. We're just going to throw more and more details at it and somehow it's going to remember all these things. And of course, we do that very, very poorly. Our brains really weren't designed to be just a storage location or a or a place for storage. So so make use of Evernote, make use of Google keep or some other note application that makes sense to you. Keep that information separate. So like you said, you can focus 100% on the work that's in front of you. 

MP: 38:08 That's excellent. Well, Scott, this is, this has been fantastic having you back and I think of arms us with a whole bunch of ideas and how we can make 2018 even better. Let's get out there. Let's get more done and have less stress. If you want to learn more about what you're up to, Scott, can you let us know again, what the best way to really enter into your world and get more information from the work that you're doing? What would be the best first stop for people that are listening?

SF: 38:37 You know, the best place to learn more about what I do and also to find all of the videos and resources that I mentioned in today's podcast would be the Simpletivity websites. So Simpletivity, s, I, m p, l, e t, I v, I t y.com Simpletivity.com uh, you can find all of my blog posts, you can find all of my youtube videos and you can also find a bit more about the work that I do for people when it comes to a technology consulting, especially when it comes to using Trello. So look forward to seeing you at Simplivity.com 

MP: 39:10 Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you, Scott, for so generously giving us your time to be on the podcast today.

SF: 39:20 Well, thanks again for having me, Michael.

MP:39:25 Glad to be here. Excellent. Well, that wraps another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's fabulous guests and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business-building resources. You can go to Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com until next time, we'll say goodbye.