Interesting business model for eBook

Earlier this week I found an eBook over on ZenHabits. The book looks interesting and I’m looking forward to giving it a read, but the think that caught my eye was the business model; you can get the book for free. The whole book, as a downloadable eBook. Free.

Now, there is a Premium version of the eBook available that includes a lot more interesting looking content.

This business model reminds me of  ‘Director’s Cut’ DVDs. You get the basic movie, the Director’s cut, the out-takes, the concept art, maybe a making-of video, and director commentary, over and above the basic movie.

Content you’re paying a premium for.

So, this 27 chapter eBook is free, and the premium stuff looks like it might be worth paying for, if you think it’ll add value to the basic content in the eBook.

Well, I’m going to bite, and give it a read. It’s free. It may (or may not) entice me into checking out the premium version, but at the very least, I’ll get some ideas. And hopefully learn something.

And try and figure out how this business model really makes sense.

1. All 27 chapters of the free ebook
Along with a crapload of extra material …

2. How-to videos
Going into more depth on focus-related topics:

  • How to Single-task
  • Beating the Fears of Disconnecting
  • How to Find Stillness & Disconnect
  • Focus & Health, Part 1: eating healthy and getting active
  • Focus & Health, Part 2: sleep and stress

3. Audio interviews with experts

4. Bonus chapters from Leo

  • creativity and practicing deep focus
  • finding stillness and reflection
  • how to start changes on a broader level

5. Bonus chapters from other writers

6. Bonus PDF guides

  • How to create new habits
  • Quick-start decluttering guide
  • Focused email guide

One way to Get Stuff Done [video]

Another Friday and another video — this time dealing with time management and organization.

The video details how the fine folk at BlueSkyFactory like to organize their day and their workload. Not exactly my cup of tea — I’m currently experimenting with the Pomodoro system described by Tris Hussey on his blog.

But it is noteworthy, and worth a look. Who knows, it may suit your style.

Getting Things Done with Gmail?

GMail for Apps adds simple Task function

Usually Google Apps for Business is the last of Googles free online application suites to receive new features, but ever since Google enabled Google Labs within Apps for Business, new features are rolled at the same time.

Today Gmail received a simple Task List manager:

Google Tasks in action

Like many of Google’s enhancements, it’s a very simple implementation — but it works quite well, and means that I can remove another plugin from my poor oversized Firefox browser.

To enable Tasks, go to Settings, click the Labs tab (or just click here if you’re signed in). Select “Enable” next to “Tasks” and then click “Save Changes” at the bottom. Then, after Gmail refreshes, on the left under the “Contacts” link, you’ll see a “Tasks” link. Just click it to get started.

More at the Gmail Blog.

Did you Get Things Done? Measuring productivity with RescueTime.

Last time I mentioned this great little Two Minute timer to help you manage your GTD Processing.

Well, that’s great for when you’re actually hard at work and trying to be productive, but what about afterwards — when you want to know just what you spent your time doing (or not doing!).

  • Do you trust your memory to remember what you worked on?
  • Was Twitter the culprit?
  • How about surfing all those blogs?

Ok, those were my questions but lucky for me, RescueTime can answer them.

After a quick (and free) signup, you download and install the RescueTime client (Windows / Mac / Linux !!! ), and get back to work.

RescueTime also has a business package that tracks many users and groups, but that costs. The individual user tracking is free.

So, after a few hours, log into your RescueTime dashboard and review your progress. For the first few days, you’ll likely spend a bunch of time assigning tags and categories to various applications monitored by the RescueTime client. Persevere, because after you’ve made those assignments, you’ll be better able to track your application usage.

But rather than go through all the features, check out the product tour, and learn for yourself. I’m finding it interesting…though I’m not sure if it’s telling me anything I didn’t already know. Using this in a workgroup situation would be interesting though 🙂

On time management and GTD

Moleskine Concept Diagram 1
Creative Commons License photo credit: jazzmasterson

Lately I’ve been working with a few tools that help me streamline my various tasks and workflows. Over the next few posts, I’ll dive into them and my reasons for using them.

First off, the Two Minute Timer.
If you’ve been been under a rock for the last few years then this reference to David Alan’s book, Getting Things Done and the Two Minute Rule applied to Processing will be meaningless. The following is for you (via Wikipedia):


When processing a bucket, a strict workflow is followed:

  • Start at the top.
  • Deal with one item at a time.
  • Never put anything back into ‘in’.
  • If an item requires action:
  • Do it (if it takes less than two minutes), OR
  • Delegate it, OR
  • Defer it.
  • If an item does not require action:
  • File it for reference, OR
  • Throw it away, OR
  • Incubate it for possible action later.

If it takes under two minutes to do something, just do it immediately. The two-minute rule is a guideline, encompassing roughly the time it would take to defer the action formally.

The Two Minute timer in actionAll right then, you’re up to speed on the Two Minute Rule. The tool I’ve been using to help me keep track of two minutes isn’t the ‘official’ two minute timer, rather an un-official one created with .NET.

Elegant in its simplicity, the Two Minute Timer works. Plain and simple. Easy to read, and easy to use. Not much more to say but that’s part of beauty. It simply works.

This will surely free more of your valuable time

Tim Ferriss (4 Hour Work Week) lists 9 items in his ‘Not To Do List’ that make sense and will free up your time. I already do number 1, and try to do number 4:

1. Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers
Feel free to surprise others, but don’t be surprised. It just results in unwanted interruption and poor negotiating position. Let it go to voicemail, and consider using a service like GrandCentral (you can listen to people leaving voicemail) or Simulscribe (receive voicemails as e-mail).

4. Do not let people ramble
Forget “how’s it going?” when someone calls you. Stick with “what’s up?” or “I’m in the middle of getting something out, but what’s going on?” A big part of GTD is GTP—Getting To the Point.

The rest, I need to work on. Check out the list and the comments to his post. Lots of good stuff there.