A few years ago, I adopted a new productivity tool into my daily workflow. This isn’t a software tool. In fact, it is something you can easily buy for a few bucks.

As you can probably tell from the screenshot, it is actually just a simple black notebook.

What do I do with this notebook which provided a HUGE sense of focus to my daily schedule? And, even though I sorta dropped the habit for a little while (hey, I’m human, too)… I’m bringing it back as we tear into 2018.

This video was originally recorded in 2014. I am bringing it forward again since I think it is still highly relevant. 🙂

Video Transcript

In this video I want to talk to you about a single, very simple productivity tool that I have implemented this year and know that isn’t software.

Alright, like a lot of people, I look for ways to increase my productivity. I’m a stay-at-home entrepreneur so basically, there’s nobody there to hold my feet on the fire. If I don’t get things done, nothing happens. It’s both a blessing and a curse. I love the freedom of working from home but at the same time you have to be able to inject your own discipline on getting things done and managing your own time and energy.

Now, at the beginning of the year I set forward certain goals and I want to meet them. Last year I missed some of my goals but I didn’t mean, all of them. Some of them I had to carry over to 2014. It wasn’t something that I was happy with.

So, I meet with a Mastermind Group and there are some people in there that have some really cool ideas and one of them was super simple and I went ahead and implemented it. And that tool that I used to do that is simply this. (A little black notebook).

The little black notebook; it’s leather, I went to Staples and picked it up because sometimes it’s the little one that like this is hard to find. It’s not a daily planner. There is no pre-printed stuff. All the pages are completely blank.

So, what do I use it for? I use this as a business journal. Now, in my going around saying, “this how I feel about this… and this customer broke up with me”. 🙂

Nah, that’s not what I’m doing with a business journal. What I do with it is very concrete. Everyday, I start out with what’s called a “Focus Map”. Underneath that, I have the task that I’m sending out to do for that particular day. And then at the end of the day, I go back and I review how I did getting those tasks done. Anything that I learned in terms of ideas that I had, what have you.

And being that each page is completely blank like I showed you, it gives me space so that when some idea comes to mind, I can just write it down on there. I don’t have to go and try to find some place for my computer to put it. It’s all right here.

Now, do I use digital productivity tool? You bet! But sometimes a good old notebook is really the best way to go.

If I just turn to one of my days, here’s the 22nd of January. Just randomly, I picked it. There are some things on here; you’re not going to be able to see it on video; but there’s some notes that I made to myself, there is my task list and then there’s this thing called focus map.

The focus map is a really, really cool tool. I want to tell you a little bit about it because I think it’s really, really powerful. But I’m going to do that on my next video. It’s going to take a few more minutes to talk about so therefore, I don’t want to link in this video too long.

So, what I would love for you to do is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and/or if you’re already on the Blog Marketing Academy site, make sure you’re on my email list because I’m actually going to share what I mean by the focus map in my next video. And I would like to make sure that you don’t miss that. It’s a really powerful tool. For me it’s actually revolutionized the way I approach my day. It means that I’m a lot more on target. It’s means I’m not out there wasting time on other things. And it guides the task list that I put right underneath it.

If the task does not fit into my focus map, it does not get written down on this book. So, this stupid little book that I picked up at Staples, is actually turning in to a hell of a productivity tool for me. The focus map is really a big part of it.

And I will see you on my next video to tell you exactly how that works 🙂

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