My 3-Step tech framework for Getting Things Done, Reducing business risk using facts, Converting articles to audio

Aug 24, 2023

1-2-3 Newsletter - Read Time - 4.5 Mins

Hello, and welcome to a another edition of the Tech for Finance 1-2-3 Newsletter where we have:

1. Tutorial - My 3-step tech framework for getting things done

2. Expert resources - Moving from Opinions to Facts in Reducing Business Risk, 161 page FP&A guide.

3. Tech tools - Convert articles to audio, personalised AI knowledge experts, and AI analytics.

1/ My 3-step tech framework for getting things done

Right now, I have a full time job, a side-hustle, a podcast and 2 kids that run circles around me.

If I didn't have structure I would get NOTHING done.

Hence my obsession with productivity.

I've trialled, tested, paid for, unsubscribed from and re-subscribed to many many productivity apps.

But whatever apps you choose, the foundational principles apply.

Capture --> Prioritise --> Schedule

Step 1 - Capture

No matter where the item comes from, you need to capture it. E-mail, Teams / Slack chat, Social Posts, face-to-face meetings.

If something's actionable write it down.

Historically, I've used a combination of tools to achieve this.

The Spark Mail app and Notion.

My primary reason for using Spark, is to pull all of my e-mail inboxes into one mail client.

But, it also allows me to create a link to an e-mail to drop into a task-management app so I can get out of my inbox.

When I was using Notion, the Ultimate Tasks Template by Thomas Frank was excellent, as it'd also help with Step 2.

Todoist is another app I've used. But you could use:

• Outlook -> Outlook Tasks

• Gmail -> Keep Notes

• Any of the above with Asana or Trello if you like the Kanban stuff.


Step 2 - Prioritise

I've always been a fan of the Eisenhower Matrix for prioritisation, although instead of import/urgent, important/not-urgent etc I just use.

1. Do Now (Today)

2. Do Later (Important/Not-Urgent)

3. Do Sometime (Doesn't matter if it doesn't get done)

4. Delegate (Somebody else can do this)

5. Delete

I also have a separate area in my Notion called 'Learning and Development' which I use as an archive for instructional content I find on LinkedIn, Newsletters etc.

These don't go into the above prioritisation matrix as I may reference them forever and a day, but they're still captured as per step 1.


Step 3 - Schedule

There's no point in capturing and prioritising tasks if they never get done.

So this last step is crucial.

Block time for each task in your Outlook / Google / Apple calendar!

I'd recommend blocking out time either at the very beginning, or, very end of each week for planning (at least an hour) with 15 mins a day for tweaks / corrections to your schedule.

If you can't find an hour a week, you'll likely lose a lot more time than that due to lack of focus.

My other recommendation is that you try and have a primary focus for each week.

So ask yourself the question "What's the one thing I MUST get gone this week that's going to have the biggest impact?" And structure your diary around that

Taimur Abdaal, Founder at Causal uses this approach. You can checkout my podcast interview with him here.


Next Level Tech

The above framework should work for 99% of people in helping them get things done.

But, if like me things are absolutely crazy for you, there is some next level tech available.

PLUS - This wouldn't be my newsletter if I didn't talk about AI would it now?!

I'm now using a tool called Motion to cover steps 2 and 3 for me.

It connects to my multiple calendars, reviews the priority of the tasks I've created, and then automatically schedules them for me

It does come with a price tag through, so be forewarned.

2 of my previous podcast guests also use this tool. I originally heard about it from Simon Devine at Hopton Analytics, and then Chris Reilly from Mission Capital later on. Simon is podcast episode 003, Chris is podcast episode 019.

If you're a bit more budget conscious, there are some alternatives.

Skedpal is one I've used before (powerful, but a bit of a learning curve) and (Only works with Google Calendar right now).

2/ Expert Resources

1. This week we released my podcast with Gary Cokins, CEO of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLM, and established author.

In our discussion we cover:

- Overcoming Resistance to Change and Implementation
- Maximizing Business Success in EPM Implementation
- Strategy Map and Key Performance Indicators
- Creating Change Through Asking Questions
- Analytics in Performance Management
- From Data to Insights

And much much more.

Check out the full podcast "Moving from Opinion to Facts in Reducing Business Risk" on audio here. And on video here.

2. Asif Masani recently compiled all of his FP&A swipe files into 1 giant 162 page document

Check it out here.

3/ Tech Tools

1. Recast - Turn written articles into audio conversations - learn more here.

2. Luminaries - Chat with a personalized team of digital experts - learn more here.

3. Skills Analytics - Get your analytics done in minutes - Learn more here.

IMPORTANT - Always read the data policy for any tools you try. If you’re ever unsure. Make sure your data, and any customer or supplier data is anonymised.

NOTE - I am not affiliated with any of the tools in this e-mail.

So that’s it for this week.

Until Next Time


👨‍💻Connect with me on LinkedIn

🎧Subscribe to the Podcast

📺Watch on YouTube

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