The One Thing Google Reader Users Should Do Today

Who is this for? Anyone who is yet to do anything about the imminent shutdown of Google Reader. Regardless if you plan to do nothing or aren’t sure what to do.

Google Reader goes away for good on Monday, July 1st 2013. If you’re still not sure what to do (join the club) or are yet to do anything, I’d like to offer one piece of advice: download your data.

Even if you don’t try another service, even if you are declaring RSS bankruptcy. Take five minutes, go to Google Takeout and download an archive of your data. You may be happy with your current solution, you may end up doing nothing, but if you have your archive, you have options.

Not sure how to do this? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here is a step-by-step guide to download your Google Reader data.

Be sure to do this before Monday or it will be too late.

Backing Up Your Google Reader Data and RSS Subscriptions

Note: We’ve also made this guide available as a PDF with screenshots in case you’d like to print it out or forward it to a friend. Click here to download.

  1. Go to Google Takeout and login.
  2. Do not click Create Archive at the bottom of the page. Select Choose services instead.
  3. Select Reader.
  4. Click Create Archive.
  5. You will be taken to the “Downloads” page. Your data takes a little time to create (mine took about 5 minutes or so).
  6. You can either request to be emailed when the file is ready (do this by checking the box on the lower left hand side of the page) or wait until the file finishes building.
  7. Once your data is ready you will receive your email notification (if you followed the step above) or the Cancel button will change to Download.
  8. Click on Download.
  9. You will be asked to sign in again, do so.
  10. Click Download one more time to get your Google Reader data.

Click here to download this walkthrough with screenshots.

creativeLIVE Launches New Studios in San Francisco with Two Day Event

Who is this for?: Those who want to learn from the top experts in a live and engaging environment, as well have access to those workshops down the line for career and personal growth.

A little less than 30 minutes ago, creativeLIVE began broadcasting its two day event which marks the unveiling of its first studios outside of Seattle (its city of origin). The event is a massive one, featuring the likes of Tim Ferriss, Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIN), Guy Kawasaki, and many more to share their entrepreneurial secrets with the globe – all from within the confines of creativeLIVE’s new digs in San Francisco.

For those of you unfamiliar with creativeLIVE, here’s a brief description on how how its model works:

  • You can sign up for any one of their classes prior to the event and watch it live – as it happens – for absolutely free. creativeLIVE has already held classes with experts such as Michael Port, Sue Bryce, Derek Halpern, and the aforementioned Tim Ferriss, to name a few.
  • When the class is over, you can then buy access to the class to watch at your leisure, but while the class you’re watching is live, you can buy access to the recorded version of the session at a significant discount.

There are other elements that make creativeLIVE a top-notch educational platform, such as the ability to “audition” to attend a class in person, the use of live hosts (who engage both with the live audience and those watching online), and stellar production quality that makes it feel as if you’re watching a professionally produced television broadcast – or perhaps a new evolution of broadcasting that incorporates elements of traditional television programming. I;ve taken in a few classesI had the opportunity to chat with Chase Jarvis late last year about creativeLIVE, and you can read that piece over at The Next Web. But this time around I spoke with Mika Salmi, CEO of creativeLIVE, who is incredibly excited about what has brought the company to where they are today – and where it is taking them in the future.

“Since you last spoke with Chase, we’ve gone from about 30 employees to 70, viewers have watched over one million live hours of creativeLIVE sessions, and we’ve been able to run two streams simultaneously from our Seattle studios,” explained Salmi. He went on to say that with this two day event – called “Secrets from Silicon Valley” – that creativeLIVE would be running three streams simultaneously this time around.

Salmi says that creativeLIVE has always been focusing on three critical components of the educational experiences it offers:

  • It offers an engaging live experience;
  • It works with top experts in their field to faciliate the sessions;
  • It makes these sessions as accessible as possible to as many as possible, primarily with the free component.

If you’ve got time over the next two days to tune in, I strongly suggest you do so. With topics being covered like Gary Swart speaking on How to Get More Done, Chris Guillebeau talking about The $100 StartUp, and Pamela Slim discussing How to Quickly Move from Idea to Action, this is going to be one great event that you won’t want to miss. Head to http://creativeLIVE.com/live and check out how “the world’s largest live video education platform” is helping people from all over the globe do better.

Book Review – Workflow: Beyond Productivity

Who is it for? Those looking to take a deep dive into the concepts of productivity, workflow, creativity and mastery that goes far beyond the “how to”.

Kourosh Dini has already written an incredibly useful – if not the most useful – ebook on the popular task management application, OmniFocus, with Using OmniFocus. His latest work, Workflow: Beyond Productivity is very different, and will be increidbly useful to perhaps a very different audience. It dives deep into the realm of workflow and indeed goes well beyond productivity, compelling the reader to really spend some time thinking, fostering, and mastering their own workflow.

The book clocks in at over 500 pages, so it is isn’t a quick read. Nor is it meant to be. This kind of work is something you need to dwell on as a reader, digesting it slowly. Dini calls it an “eTextbook” and that’s an apt description.

The text is composed of five “books”, each of which focuses on a particular element of workflow:

  1. Book One discusses intention and organization. This book is almost like a prologue in that it prepares you for what’s to come by putting you in the right state of mind.
  2. Book Two is where the rubber begins to really meet the road as Dini writes about stations, habits, and sessions. This is where you’ll learn how to start developing the muscles needed to enhance and embrace your ability to develop a solid workflow.
  3. Book Three is all about silence, agency, and decisions. I found that this was the book that asked the reader to work on understanding and developing the idea of mindfulness when dealing with both work – and play.
  4. Book Four focuses on mastery and magic. Once you make it to this point, you’ll start to notice an “a-ha” moment has the propensity to occur. It’s almost as if Dini guides you through all of the ’“front-end work” of productivity to get you to this portion, where workflow mastery – and the magic that comes with it – really starts to kick in.
  5. Book Five is an excellent end point, as it discusses communication, meaning, and action. I found this to be the book where awareness and mindfulness were at the forefront, especially considering that every other phase of workflow had been explored and dissected.

There is more to this book than just the sheer amount of depth, breadth, and care that went into the text. Workflow: Beyond Productivity also comes with flash cards (something I’ve not encountered in this platform before) that allow the reader to review definitions of terms and questions that are asked throughout the work so they can achieve a deeper understanding of them – which will assist in their journey to mastering workflow. There is also accompanying video, which can be used in conjunction with the music section of the text (and most certainly should be to get the most out of that section).

Let me be clear: this isn’t a book that will be for everyone. It’s not only a “how to” book but it is very much a “why to” book as well. I have found that having both elements equally explored can really take your work and life to new heights, and Dini has gone further and deeper with Workflow: Beyond Productivity than I’ve ever read in one collection. It’s an academic work, and it’s something you’ll spend time “studying” more so than simply “reading”, and it is priced as such.

Workflow: Beyond Productivity is a master class in workflow that, as indicated, goes well beyond productivity. I recommend it highly and suggest you buy this DRM-free eTextbook (and its companion materials) for the introductory price of $29.95 through the end of May (click here to purchase). It is one of those rare works that will truly help you in the quest to stop doing things and start doing the right things.

Learning Shouldn’t Be Relegated

Who is this for? Anyone trying to learn a new skill while attempting to balance the realities of a busy schedule.

From Brett Kelly:

I was deferring my learning until I had almost zero energy and practically no time to start putting my new knowledge into practice.

[…]

Trying to wrap your head around multi-variable calculus after you’ve been breaking rocks apart all day is a recipe for not learning multi-variable calculus, no-how.
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> Learning shouldn’t be relegated to your leftover time and attention. The best way to give learning and improvement the best chance of sticking is to treat them like any other obligation or responsibility you have. Put them on the calendar if you have to, but trying to excise any sort of value out of the crumbs of your day is going to make learning far more challenging than it already is on its own.

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