How I Work
by Robert Levin
When I launched RSL Media in 2003 I wanted to accomplish a number of things. High among them was producing great products as well as excelling at how we work. I also knew that as an entrepreneur wearing many hats, I had to be very effective with respect to how I work. Like most things, I consider how I work a never ending journey and always trying to improve. Here are the highlights of how I am working today.
Just about all of my data is in the cloud and accessible from just about anywhere. This includes:
Dropbox - I have a personal account as well as business account and I keep most files locally on my office desktop and home laptop.
Microsoft 365/Outlook - Being a little old school, I like the Outlook interface and use the client versions on my desktop and laptop and even the Outlook app on my iPhone which I prefer to the iOS mail app. My team likes Google Docs so we have been using them a little more lately.
Chrome - I love the fact that my browsing history and bookmarks are consistent on all devices.
Evernote - Like many of the apps and programs mentioned here, I use Evernote every single day and on every device I have. I consider it a very easy-to-use, accessible, unlimited notebook with a good search feature. I’m a premium user, which comes with a whole host of benefits. In addition to putting notes directly into the app, I have an Evernote email address so that I can forward and BCC emails into the app.
I use Slack, but only with my assistant (see below). I don’t want to use it with the rest of my team because I am a big believer that disruptions are a silent business killer.
We also use Basecamp in every company I’m involved with.
I use a password manager which also works across devices. This way I can use strong and unique passwords which are accessible to me from my different devices.
Other than when I travel, I prefer to work in my office in midtown Manhattan. While I do it once in a while, I don’t like working from home largely because I love my office setup which includes:
Two 24” monitors - Once you work with at least two monitors, you will never want to use just 1 again. It avoids alt-tab and extra mouse movements and makes it easy to use two applications at the same time.
Calls sound great and are a pleasure with my Sennheiser DW Pro 2 headset (I just replaced my old, single ear headset with this dual ear headset to block out noise). While we are talking about phones, I find that when most people talk on their mobile phones without using a mic, it is hard to hear them and can sound unprofessional.
Laser printer and scanner which is set up to scan and save to Dropbox with 2 clicks of the mouse. By scanning the little paper I do have, I don’t have much in the paper file cabinet.
Jessica - my virtual assistant
I started working with a virtual assistant about 4 years ago and I have been working with Jessica for the past 3 years. To say that having a virtual assistant has been a game changer would be a huge understatement. Among so many other things, Jessica is responsible for:
Scheduling appointments and managing my calendar. Together, we have built up my preferences and she just makes it happen. I no longer need to spend my time on going back and forth with meeting attendees. Jessica is simply better at preparing my calendar for me than I am.
Jessica researching my travel options (including personal travel) and books it after my review.
Continually researching and adding prospect clients to our list that we market to.
With the above tasks and many more things that she does for me and my team, Jessica saves me 15 hours of my time per week.
Technology is at a point where automation, which was quite expensive a few years ago, is now within the reach of any business. During this year we will be using our marketing automation platform to do non-marketing activities such as managing contributor agreements and other processes. I am really looking forward to this because I want to free up my team from administrative work.
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