Awesome Christmas!

This was a fantastic Christmas for our family other than my parents not being able to travel to be with us. Susan’s Mom and Amanda and Chris from Seattle joined the Nashville crew for a great celebration.


Susan Cecilia OmiCecilia Therese meeting with her namesake, Susan’s Mom, Therese “Omi”

Cecilia BaptismThis is Cecilia’s First Christmas and
she celebrated her Baptism right before Christmas!

Owen-Christmas2015Owen’s First Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Thank you God for loving us and sending your son Jesus — fully human and fully God — to teach us and show us the way to eternal life with you! You love us as we are. We are blessed!

We hope you and yours have an amazing awesome 2016!

Apple Watch, Microsoft Band – Why would you want one?


Apple, Microsoft, Fitbit, Garmin… everyone wants us to be connected and measured by their device. Why would you want one? Why do I love them?

For those into exercise, the measurement of our workouts and even passive movement is often reason alone. I won’t take the time to justify or debate that here. The benefits seem pretty obvious. What about use outside of working out? Is adding a watch to your productivity arsenal worthwhile?

In my opinion, yes.


Life untethered. Life more present.

Let me explain…

Sad as this “true confession” may be, I used to walk around with my phone always in my pocket. Sure enough, if I put it down, I would miss an important call and so a round of phone tag would begin. The phone was an appendage of me. And, as it traveled with me, I would find myself glancing at it for any beeps, buzzes or blips. A lot. Often. And this can accidentally be very rude to those you are with.

I was asking another Apple Watch owner how he felt about it. He said exactly the same thing. Our experience is likely shared by many others.

So why is the Watch or Band any different than the phone in this regard?

All alerts come to the phone. Yes, they can be turned off. Yet you usually don’t want to do that for a variety of reasons. Many of us spend as much time (or more) on our phones than we do on our computers, so they are primary communication tools and we want to be informed up to the minute.

Enter the wrist…

You can “filter” your alerts on your Watch or Band. Now you have two levels of filter for your digital connected life… You can have just phone calls and text messages come to your Watch or Band. And maybe those important NHL updates. (Yes, I was born in Canada. It is in my blood.) All other alerts can go to the phone. So the simple act of putting down my phone and continuing to be connected by the Watch or Band lets me get the possibly important notifications while everything else is happily waiting for me when I choose to next pick up the phone. And I can easily see and respond to a text message without getting out of the flow of the current activity from the device on my wrist. Nice.

I feel you!

Haptic feedback is awesome. Having your wrist get “tapped” is a lot less intrusive to others than having your phone on vibrate or, worse yet, give audible notifications in a meeting. I can check on the reason for the tap when it is most convenient. And, because the “filter” is being applied via the wrist notifications that I allow, I am more likely to pay attention to the tap than the constant buzzing of the phone’s notifications which make it hard to distinguish between an app’s “breaking news” versus a more important personal text message.

The benefits of a new level of filtering and becoming more attentive to the present moment are unexpected yet welcomed advantages of adding another device to my digital life. I look forward to your thoughts and experiences here in the comments or on social media. If you don’t get an immediate response from me, it probably means I put my phone down.  😉


Why I Love Trello!

Trello is my favorite project management tool. It presents a visual board of cards. Cards can be organized into columns. You can move cards up and down a column. I do so to indicate priority. You can move cards from one column to any other column. I do so to indicate process flow. Set up any columns you want. Define your own “flow”. And share a board in one step. Very cool. Very helpful in a productive workflow. And easy for people who are new to it.

When I first shared Trello with friends there were few of us who knew about it. Congratulations to the Trello team birthed out of Joel Spolsky’s Fog Creek Software. (Joel is also CEO of Stack Overflow, known to most software developers.) Trello has now passed 10 million users!

Trello - Sample Board

The picture above is a sample Trello board. You can include images, documents, etc. Make it what you need it to be.

Trello Card Sample

Click on a Trello card to access or share information, add one or more checklists, attach files, link to web sites and more. Get all the detail around your project items out of strings of emails and into one place. Trello’s filtering will let you quickly find items of interest. Trello’s activity log lets you catch up on all changes across one or multiple boards since your last visit.

When Trello first came out is was great, yet limited. I built a tool called BusyLife to connect Trello and Evernote, letting people organize their Evernote notebooks on a visual Trello board. BusyLife was recognized at the Evernote Developer conference that year as one of the top Evernote add-ons as voted by Evernote users. BusyLife got around four primary issues I had with Evernote.

  1. You cannot drag and drop notes within a notebook to change their order to indicate priority.
  2. Sharing multiple notebooks that were part of a workflow required many steps and was too complex for many users.
  3. You could not see the notes (cards in Trello) from multiple notebooks (columns in Trello) at one time without going to the “All Notes” view and losing all sense of organization at a glance.
  4. Evernote provides great notebooks and rich notes. It does not let you organize workflow visually. 75% (or more) of us think visually.

Trello was originally limited in what it could display on a card and did not allow multiple attachments. It was also limited to six “tags” or labels. The revisions the Trello team have made release after release have brought Trello to the point where it is capable of handling the majority of needs I had identified and now includes unlimited tags, multiple attachments and much more. This let me eliminate the need for the BusyLife link as I made Trello a standalone tool for my project management. I use Evernote’s private and public links to tie a Trello card to an Evernote note when necessary.

Susan and I use Trello for personal projects (selling our home last year, planning trips, etc.) And we use it in Meta Media Partners, LLC to manage all kinds of projects including software development, sales funnels, marketing campaigns, customer support boards, and much more.

Again, congrats to the Trello team! More Trello = Better.

The easiest way to increase your productivity today

The best ideas are often the simplest.

Ivy Lee was a consultant to the big industrial companies many years ago. He went to visit Charles M. Schwab, President of Bethlehem Steel Company. During their meeting, Lee promised increased productivity with a simple method. He offered his counsel to Schwab for free, and asked that Charles simply pay him what he felt it was worth after using it for a month.

Charles Schwab did just that and paid him $25,000. In today’s dollars that would be approximately one million dollars.

The advice? Take a 3×5 card and write, in priority order, up to six things that you need to get done the next day. Then, multiple times throughout the day, look at that card.

HERE’S THE KEY: Focus first on number 1 and, when done, out a line through it, marking it done. Do the most important thing first. Keep it in focus and in front of you until it is done.

Do as many of the items, in order, as you can that day. Repeat the process in the evening, preparing for the next day.

Even if you don’t get all 6 items done, you will accomplish the most important things.

And, before you close out your day, define the 3×5 card for the next day.

How well did the strategy work? In five years Bethlehem Steel Company grew into the biggest independent steel producer in the world. Charles Schwab made over $100 million. (If $25,000 was one million in today’s dollars, you can see just how big his fortune truly was!)

What’s on your list?


Stopping Violence: Your Social Impact



My day in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago deeply affected me.

I want to share how you… yes you personally, impact our society for good or for bad. And if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Silence or non-engagement is part of the problem. And you have most likely already been directly or indirectly affected.

We live in a violent society.

1 in 4 women experience violence against them. 1 in 6 are sexually assaulted.

MEND 1 in 4

How does this impact you? How many women do you care about in your life? Jot their name down. If you have 4 or more names, odds are good one of them (or more) have been or will be impacted. In fact, almost EVERY one of us is impacted either directly or indirectly. Today’s sad reality is that at least one woman you know and care about has been impacted by violence. It is probably many more than one.

And the children… 15.5 million children experience violence in their homes each year. Kids who experience violence are at least TWICE as likely to be violent themselves when they grow up.

MEND 2 of 3 Children

Where does the cycle stop? How does it stop?

Violence is a learned behavior.

I recently joined the Advisory Board of Cure Violence, a non-profit started at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A health expert, Dr. Gary Slutkin, has battled contagious disease in Africa. Serious outbreaks. And helped them stop. When he returned to America he believed that violence should be treated like contagious diseases. And the same methods that stop the spread of seemingly unstoppable diseases would work to stop the sprread of violence.

Violence spreads from person to person. Violence can be interrupted.

Gary started Cure Violence (first known as Cease Fire), and started working with gun violence in the most violent areas in Chicago. And it worked. It has now spread to New York City and other cities around the world.

In June of this year I visited one of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago to meet the team on the streets, doing the hard work. They started their operation in these violent neighborhoods in October 2014. Gun violence was down over 300% in the short time they’d been present! Baltimore is another Cure Violence city. When the recent riots broke out, the only neighborhoods that did not engage in the violence were those where a Cure Violence program was running.

The team on the street, often hired from the neighborhoods and often themselves formerly violent people, get trained as interrupters. They interrupt the contagion of violence.

One example… When violence occurs such as a shooting, they figure out which families or gangs were hurt or lost loved ones in the shooting or attack. They approach them and do everything possible to get them to stand down and not retaliate. Not always easy to do. They help them understand that a retaliation will almost certainly provoke an equal or more violent attack back. And so it continues, and more brothers and sisters and sons and daughters are killed.

I talked with Ulysses, better known to his friends as “U.S.” and now the leader of the Cure Violence team in the “Top 3” most violent areas of Chicago that I was visiting. He’d been personally involved in gangs and violence for 40 years.

U.S.’s own son was instantly labeled by teachers in school when they discovered U.S. was his Dad. It wasn’t a good label. Years later his grandson told him he wanted to grow up to be just like him. That was a  final wakeup call. He didn’t want his precious grandson to follow in his footsteps. He asked himself about the role model he’d become. He decided he wanted to leave a different legacy. He joined Cure Violence. He even went and got a University degree.

James is 20 and is also part of the team. He shared how he didn’t want his son to grow up violent like him. He decided to break the cycle.

And Ru, the young lady on the team, shared how her daughter was killed on the streets of her neighborhood. Ru decided to become a force for good versus continuing her own defiant ways.

You probably don’t live in such a violent neighborhood… one where violence has been the norm. Where when bullets are fired, you don’t dive for cover, you look outside to see who is shooting who this time. At least I hope you do not. So how is this discussion of violence relevant to you?

Why talk about this in Social Month in Lifebook’s VIP Community?

It’s time to get a little uncomfortable… It’s about our language. Not cursing. It’s about how we talk about each other. It is how we treat each other. The words you speak are having an impact, one way or another. Or your silence is.

In particular, I want to talk to the men. And I want women reading this to talk to their men. 85% of violence against women and violence against men is done by men. Especially in domestic violence, it’s a man’s issue.

It is time for good men to stand up and change our culture. It starts by changing how we talk about women. It starts with us being great models for our children. For those of us who coach, it starts with teaching our players a valid definition of what it means to be a man.

Men, when you are engaging in your social life and a group of pretty ladies walk by, is the talk in your group respectful or not? If not, do you participate? Just laugh? Say nothing? It is time for men to speak up. It is time for you to speak up. Silence is unacceptable. Challenge your friends to think and talk differently and to grow up. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging beauty. It is another thing to talk inappropriately. I am sure you can think of situations and examples you have experienced.

It also starts with how you treat the women in your life. A small yet important example… Do you leave things lying around the house, expecting your wife to pick up after you? What message does that send to your children about the respect and role of women in our world? What does that tell your wife? Again, you can think of many examples that do not raise a healthy and strong model for our children or send the right message to our wives. (Reference: The Chair )

If we want our society to be safe for women and children, we need to treat women with respect.

It starts in our social life. It starts in our homes.

Violence is spread like a disease. It starts with a sniffle (a little inappropriate comment here or there.) It turns serious in too many cases. And it spreads.

1 in 4. 1 in 6. A domestic violence call every 20 minutes in many of our cities. Change the culture now before someone you love gets hurt. Or worse.

Lifebook VIPs, we can be a force for good in this world! Simply starting with changing the dialog can have a huge ripple effect in our culture. We can set a higher standard for our friends and, in turn, change our cities.

If you know someone in a domestic violence situation, get them help now. Call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to speak directly to an advocate. Do not be a bystander. 

The “R3″ application, free for Apple and Android devices, has a nationwide listing of centers that can help. (

Additional Recommended Videos:

Jackson Katz on Language:

Tony Porter on “The Man Box”:

Gary Slutkin on Cure Violence:

Dave Jaworski is Lifebook’s Chief Operating Officer. Dave also serves on the Advisory Board of Cure Violence ( and is an Advisor to and creator of the MEND Toolkit platform for the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee in their efforts to end violence against women. MEND – In order to END violence against women, it begins with MEN. For more information see

(This article originally appeared September 1 in Lifebook’s VIP Community ( for Social month.)

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