It’s no secret, you’re pressed for time.
You wear multiple hats, share multiple responsibilities, and have more things to do than there are hours in the day.
Maybe you’ve even committed to being more productive or focused in the new year.
Superhuman productivity you say? I’ll take two helpings of that.
After all, with so many demands on your time, being able to accomplish your goals while still saving time for family, self-improvement, and relaxation sounds like a dream.
But where do we start?
There are literally thousands of productivity tips and apps on the Internet… every one claiming to give you that dream.
This isn’t “yet another productivity tip.”
This is a way to organize your learning, clean up your computer, educate yourself using spare moments in your day (like driving), and literally read your news and articles twice as fast as you can today.
Let’s get focused. Let’s get productive. Let’s stop procrastinating. And let’s download an app to help.
Watch our video, listen to the podcast, or read the transcript below (modified for readability) of our productivity tip here.
Hey, guys. This is Mike with Modern da Vinci and welcome to our show here.
We've got a quick productivity tip for you today but first I want to wish you a happy 2017, Happy New Year!
I'm ready to go.
I got my coffee, which I just spilled all over my hand, but hey, no worries. We're going to have a good session here.
We're going to talk to you quick about a productivity tip; an app actually that has really changed the way that I do a lot of things.
Number one I know a lot of you small business owners are pressed for time like I am. Number two I know you've got way too many tabs open in your browser and we got to get that cleaned up ASAP, because I had like 70 tabs open in my browsers…
It was absolutely ridiculous. I had two windows. There were tabs everywhere, articles that I wanted to learn about, things I wanted to read, it was just insane and I had to find a way to get that cleaned up.
Number three, all those tabs and all this is being pressed for time leads me to something that we all have problems with: procrastinating.
I would constantly procrastinate by going to read these articles in these tabs just to avoid doing whatever hard work I was supposed to be doing on that day.
I'm sure many of you can relate.
So, 2017 for me is going to be all about focusing on the right things at the right time, not procrastinating, cleaning up all these tabs, getting rid of these articles.
I want to save them, but I want to get rid of them so that I can get onto my real work. And in the evenings when I have a free moment, I can open this app (that I'm going to talk about right now) which has really changed the way that I research and read articles like this.
It's called Instapaper.
I bought it a long time ago when it was about $5. It may be free now for all I know. I haven't looked at the prices in a while. Whether it’s $5 or $20, this app really is going to change the way that you deal with all the articles I know you want to read on a daily basis.
Here's why it helps: I'm going to go through a list of all the things that it does and I hope, at the end, you'll be incentivized to download this.
(I want you to know I'm not making any money by talking to you about this app, I just love this app so much I thought this would be a nice productivity tip; especially for people to have productivity or focus on their New Year's resolution in 2017)
The App to Organize Your Learning and Reclaim Your Productivity in the New Year
Alright, so here we go, what is Instapaper?
Instapaper is an app, it runs on iOS, it runs on Android, it works on PC, you can visit it in a web browser, and it allows you to save all your articles. You just take each tab or article, one at a time, and save them to Instapaper and boom, it saves the article to your Instapaper account.
Now why is that a big deal? Aren’t you just moving the article from one place to another?
Yes, but it's a big deal for the following reasons.
Ads Don’t Help You Learn…
Once you get the article in your Instapaper account it's not just the webpage that it's saving, it's saving the article.
In other words, it gets rid of all the advertising, all the movies, all the video, etc. You know how sometimes you open a web page and it starts playing music or some ad or some garbage that you don't want to listen to.
It gets rid of all of that!
It just gives you the article and the images that are part of that article, helping you focus on reading.
When you open the app and read one of your saved articles, you’re truly just reading the article. It's like ... Yeah, think of it like a Kindle except for web articles, right? It's awesome in that way.
You tap it and, boom, it opens the article (just the text), you start reading, and you're good to go.
Why Read When You Can Search?
Now these other features are really going to help you be even more productive because you can do things like search through your articles (even the ones that you've already read).
And here's another feature for you - when you finish reading an article, just hit the archive button. Boom, it goes away for you. It's kind of like closing a tab, it gets rid of it from your reading list. But it puts it in an archive so you can search for it later.
Now, what if I've highlighted a passage that I like in a certain article? Say I'm reading an article on leadership on our own blog, Modern da Vinci, and I really like what Seth had to say. Boom, I can highlight that, it saves it for me, and I could search all those highlights later and recall exactly what it was that I was interested in.
It's a really great feature.
The archiving, the searching, you can favorite an entire article if you want to. All of this is done through the app and it synchronizes between your devices. You can read on your iPad, your iPhone, your Android, your Samsung tablet or whatever it is. And then when you go to the webpage on instapaper.com, boom, you log in and all of that stuff is right there for you.
Learning in Between Free Moments
Okay, here is a feature that is really going to let you squeeze in those few minutes that you have throughout the day… maybe when you're at the grocery store and you're waiting in line and you've got say five to ten minutes to wait:
You can sort your articles by their approximate reading time and it shows you how long it thinks it's going to take to read based on the number of words.
A lot of my articles are five minutes, but I have a few 20-minute ones in there. I can sort and I can say, "You know what? I only got five minutes right now. I'm not just going to stand here and look at the candy bars in line. I want to read this article that I know is going to help me with my business."
Boom, I open it up and I start reading.
Now let's say I really need to read that 20-minute article, but I've only got five minutes. No big deal. Just start and when you get to the place where you have to put the app away, it's going to save your spot for you. In fact, it's going to synchronize wherever you left off between devices so that you can pick up right where you left off whether you're on PC or Android or iOS or whatever.
It’s a really awesome feature.
Okay, that's probably my third favorite feature though, and there are two more that I want to talk about.
Stop Trying to Catch Up While Driving!
Number two, my second most favorite feature is what I call “podcast mode”.
I don’t know what it’s really called… I call it podcast mode because when I get in the car and I'm stuck in DC traffic (in the parking lot that is our highway) and waiting and I’ve got nothing but time, I'm not going to pick up my phone and read.
Because I see some people out there doing that, and you know what? One of them is going to hit me because they're not paying attention to the road and I'm going to get out of the car and I'm going to yell at them that they should have downloaded Instapaper, right?
But you guys are safe, you're going to download it after this I know it :-).
So when I'm sitting in the car, I can listen to the article in podcast mode. It'll start reading the article to me which is really awesome.
Now it's not the best, right? It's not some voice actor that's reading this thing to you or the author himself. It's Siri or Cortana or Alexa, it kind of sounds like that digital voice. But hey, you can hear it, you can understand it, you can slow down the speech, you can speed it up and you can really get a lot out of it.
That way, when you've got some time, you're sitting on the metro, you're sitting in the car in traffic, you could just put it in podcast mode and sit back and listen to the article instead of reading it, and again, it synchronizes where you leave off.
So if you want to stop listening and you want to start reading with your eyes from that point on it will pick up right there and all your devices are synchronized. Super awesome. But that's my second favorite feature.
Superhuman Reading Speed: Learn Like Evelyn Wood
The first favorite feature and the biggest reason that I love Instapaper besides all these other things, besides getting rid of the tabs and giving me more time and helping me figure out what my reading list looks like, is that you can put it into something called speed reading mode.
Speed reading mode will take each word of the article and it will put it right there in the center of your screen, alright? One word at a time and it will flip words at you, right? One by one it's just shooting those words at you.
And because you don't have to move your eyes, right, because you don't have to go like this and read and look up and down and swipe and do all the stuff, it can just shoot these words at you.
I can read twice as fast that way. Sometimes more than I can read normally.
So I figure I read 250 words a minute, maybe 300 on a good day. This thing I can crank it up to 500, 550, 600 and it's just shooting those words at me.
I sit back, I stare at that one spot on the screen, and it's like it's downloading the article right into my head, like the Matrix, it's awesome, my number one favorite feature on Instapaper - speed reading.
Regain Your Time in The New Year
Like I said I don't know if it's $4.99 anymore or if it's free. It might be free now. If its $20 it's totally worth it to be able to close all those tabs, regain your time and especially focus in 2017.
So that's all for now, I hope that this was a helpful video for you. I hope you got something out of it. I hope that you go and download Instapaper and you clean up all those tabs and you get your reading list in order and this gives you some time back in your day and helps you organize a little bit better.
If you like this, please share it. There's a lot of small business owners out there that are pressed for time and that they need small tips like this will go a long way for them. So just go ahead and share it for me that would be super awesome.
So again happy 2017, thanks for joining us here in the New Year. I hope you guys are set up for massive growth and success. Contact us and share this if you like it and we hope to see you next time.
Thanks a lot!