Quote: “I’m tired of feeling like I always have work looming over me. I just want to manage my time so I can enjoy the free time I’m

sure I can actually have.”

Throughout this book, we’ll be recommending software, websites and web applications. When we mention them, we thought it would be helpful for you to know if the service is free or costs money. To make things easy we will label each item either with an F [INSERT GRAPHIC] meaning Free or B [INSERT GRAPHIC] meaning Budgeted.

Although many of these services may be Free, they may limit functionality or the amount of users that access it. For example, we mention the program Evernote which is an application that has a Free version and a Pro version. The Pro has more features than the Free version and many of the services listed will offer a Trial period for new users. We recommend that you

always try before you buy.


In the 21st Century, the idea of having a 9-5 job is becoming more and more an antiquaited business practice. The truth is, more jobs these days are asking for new employees to wear many hats (corporatespeak for a long list of responsibilities that will be handed to you throughout

time and they’re not sure what they’re going to be) and to be available when necessary. Usually this last request may come with a smartphone like a Blackberry and basically means in corporatespeak that when they call or send you an email, you should answer or respond promptly.

The idea becoming more prevalent is that as business in the 21st century is not limited to 9-5, neither should your work hours and although as scary as that sounds – fret not for there is a solution. The problem is that most people coming from this mentality are trying to fit the square peg in the round hole and as a result driving themselves crazy as they continue an overworked, sleep-deprived lifestyle. Technology provides this new world environment to work in, and it’s only by using technology that we’ll be able to succeed in this evolving world.

As children we are taught the wonders of magic and we’re fascinated with illusion as a magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat or make your card appear at the top of the deck. Behind that magic lies the art of Prestidigitation – which is the 20th century way of saying Slight of hand or another way of saying “Magician”.

Technology works very much the same way. Not too long ago, communicating with someone halfway across the world seemed like an expensive and at times a frustrating task. Yet, recently with the marvels of technology and telecommunications we have the magic of instant messaging and text messaging. In a flash, we’ve changed what distance means and with that what a “co-worker” is.

Behind all that wonder of communicating over the internet is an underlying technology that countless developers have worked on creating the Magic of the internet. More devices in our lives are now managing themselves much like our cars alert us when an oil change may be needed, or our internet box may reset itself when a message comes from the central office. Techonology as a whole is becoming more “user-friendly” or “stupid-proof” as some would say. Here’s the good news, we’re the ones that prosper from all their hard work! It seems that devices, much like us as humans, should “take care of themselves” which usually done by updating itself in the background, without you knowing – automatically. The end result, next time we use our phone, log into our email or event open our browser – we’ll find the latest version of itself already installed and configured as if by Magic.

Throughout this book, we’ll introduce a new way to approach your daily business life. Gone are the days of endlessly running through useless mundane routines and hello are the days where we’ll efficiently tackle tasks and use technology to help us in our daily lives both at work and at home – automagically. You’ll be so surprised with all the free time that you’ll have at the end of this book that your co-workers, friends and family will wonder – how do you do everything that you do – and still look so good in the process. Is it magic? No – it’s Automagic. Let’s get started.

Pre-requisites: Things you’ll need. Using this method, it’s based on YOU. So when you think about YOU, what do you do and how do people reach you. All the elements to getting your life together are what appears on your business card. Whether you have a business card or not, the idea is that once you identify what you do and how people reach you, then you’ve defined the lines of communication. Think about. Go ahead and scribble down right next to this the basic pieces of what is your business card:

  1. Your Title
  2. Your Business Email Account
  3. Your Business Phone
  4. Your Mailing Address

Now that we know who you are, you’re going to need some basic equipment to get started.

  1. A Computer with Internet Access
  2. A Smart Phone with Internet Access
  3. Mailbox (Home address or UPS Store)
  4. Online Storage – Google Drive or Dropbox

With these 4 things, we can establish how you can be reached and how you will work.

That’s it, get rid of your PDA, Notepad, Roller bag, most of your pencils and pens, your post-its (maybe keep a small stack) and anything else that you use to store your daily mess. If you can fit papers into it, put it aside because you’re going to stop using it.

This is a new you. Let’s slim down the stuff you carry with you day in and day out and replace it with the necessary tools to get your job done and get you back to your life.

Chapter Goals: Each chapter moving forward is going to describe the entire chapter in 2 sentences that explain everything covered in that chapter. Consider these our mantras. It’s what what you’re expected to take away from this book. This list of 13 Chapter goals will be a little list

that you can look at whenever you start feeling overwhelmed and it should remind you of the lessons that you’ll learn in this book.

  • Chapter 1: It’s Doesn’t Need to Cost You, or the Environment, that Much. (Footprint – Cost Reduction)
  • Chapter 2: If You’re Not Talkin’ Your Not Producing. OR You Don’t Talk, You Don’t Deliver. (Communication)
  • Chapter 3: Work T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R, Dammit! (Collaboration)
  • Chapter 4: If You Always Have to Do Their Job, You Don’t Need ‘Em. (Finding the Right Team)
  • Chapter 5: Yeah, You DO Have Time to Eat! (Time Management Essentials)
  • Chapter 6: Project Management Essentials
  • Chapter 7: Business Management
  • Chapter 8: Storefront

Chapter Story:

All lessons covered in this book are arranged with a story – a parable if you will. This story may hit home for a lot of you out there. Our story begins with three friends from different walks of life that all work in the same building. They share the same elevator every day – same times throughout the day. They have lunch together at times and sometimes head to happy hour after a frustrating day at work. These three people can represent most people in most jobs. From the teachers that work in neighboring classrooms, to the prisoner in cubicle-land, most of you should find some sense of parallel to one of our characters. Tim is a fun guy, when he finds the time to convince himself he’s not still working. Jenny’s – I NEED TO KNOW WHAT ROLE JENNY IS TAKING.

Chapter Body: This is the play by play and how you’re going to change your workflow. This is the core of the text and it will break it down for you as simple as possible. If parables are not your thing, just skip to this.

Tools You’ll Need: These are actual tools, whether website or web applications or services that we recommend. We will list the tool name, whether it’s free or not, a quick description and more information. Most, if not all, of these tools will require an internet capable device.

This is the book. This is how the magic happens. In about 3

days time, your mindset will change. You’ll start seeing things differently and you’ll

start controlling your life. You’ll realize the amount of waste we produce not just environmentally, but also in our daily lives. We build these mountains of clutter only to frustrate ourselves. Grab a match because things are going to ignite – automagically.

Outline 1: The New Method

How to make your NEW METHOD company


  • When you need to comment on something, just type it in red.

Latest Questions/comments:

  • None
  1. Introduction
    1. Have two icons one labeled F and another labeled B, F means free, B means budgeted – I would recommend using designed icons that signify these points. The use of the letters F and B make me feel like they are some sort of grade on the product/service and this could possibly transfer to the reader.
    2. Introduce NEW METHOD
    3. Tell a story about 2 brothers or friends that started a business together (rich dad/poor dad

      style). The book is a parable like the Alchemist.

    4. Bottom line: This book is about a comparison between a traditional (brick and mortar) company versus a virtual company
    5. Pre-requisites: Things you’ll need
    6. What are Chapter Goals: “2 sentences that explain everything” and how they relate with what you’re expected to take away from this book. These goals should printable on 1 sheet that could be used as a reminder list of how to run their daily work lives.
    7. The Basic Pieces – starts with a business card
      1. Email Account
      2. Phone
      3. Computer
      4. Internet
      5. Mailbox (Home address or UPS Store)
      6. Online Storage – Google Drive or Dropbox
  2. Cost


    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Paperless
    3. Documentation
    4. Amount of space you need – virtual
    5. Amount of space you need – physical
  3. Communication:
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Limiting Access to you – prevent 10 ways that people can reach you:
      1. 1 email address (business)
      2. 1 email address (personal)
      3. 1 phone line (personal)
      4. 1 phone line (business)
      5. 1 chat account (private)
      6. 1 phone that can

        recieve multiple email inboxes

    3. Passive: E-mailing, Gmail
    4. Active: Skype, Freescreensharing
    5. Establish rules of communication – Netiquette
    6. Using Basecamp or collaborative environments
      1. No Thanks, no signatures
      2. Hash-tags (#) or @ symbols to address team members
        1. Works really well when using Search function
    7. Etiquette in Person
      1. Phones OFF the table
      2. No checking email in meetings
  4. Collaborating:
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Collaboration Workflow
    3. Tools: Basecamp
    4. Tools: Google docs
    5. Tools: Drop box
    6. Tools:
    7. Tools: Mantis
    8. Tools: Scrum (submit to smart sheet)
    9. Appendix:
      1. Advanced Hosting Solutions:
      2. Tools: VPN
      3. Tools: hosting
  5. Finding the Right Team:
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. India

      vs. Local

    3. How to pick your team members
    4. Remote (Rowe – Distributed Work Environment – Lullabot)
    5. Tools:
      1. Elance – finding remote talent
      2. Craigslist – finding local talent quickly
      3. – a remote Art Department
  6. Time Management Essentials:
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Basic time management
    3. Productivity
      1. Tools:

        Blackout Apps

      2. Pomodoro Method
    4. Intro to GTD – Getting Things Done
      1. Tools: Evernote
    5. Pomodoro Method
    6. Bracketing Time
    7. Tackling Emails:
      1. Tools: Priority Inbox
      2. Tools: How to process e-mails – 1 hour a day
  7. Project Management Essentials
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. How to plan a project: milestones, events, to-dos, tasks
    3. Tools
      1. Freescreensharing
      2. Basecamp
      3. TeamGantt
      4. Merlin
      5. Project
  8. Business management:
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Blackout hours
    3. Client meetings are exceptions
    4. Meetings – you use it or lose it
    5. Meeting hours, meeting agendas, and repeated events – reminders, using Gmail
    6. Scheduling Meetings with doodle
    7. Virtual does not mean non-verbal or wordless.
    8. SCRUM: why it’s important
      1. Tools: Online scrum with Google docs
  9. Storefront
    1. Chapter Goal: “2 sentences that explain everything”
    2. Going completely virtual
    3. Tools:
      1. WordPress
      2. Facebook
      3. GoDaddy
      4. VPN
      5. Hosting
  10. About Us
  11. Hire us
  12. Speaking Events

Deadline: January 18th, 2013

Next Steps:

  1. Outline – Aug 1
  2. Identify

    everyone we’d like to mention – Aug 8

  3. Book & Pitch – Nov 23 (13 chapters in 15 weeks – 1 chapter a week.
  4. Edit – identify graphic placeholders – Dec 14
  5. Pagination / Finalize Companion Booklet Outline – Jan 9
  6. Submit to publisher – Jan 18
  7. Finish Companion Booklet – Mar 21
  8. Get published – Apr 5
  9. Have Miami Dade College let me do a two hour seminar with leaflets for free and video recorded

Info graphic:
Visualising Remote Working Data

Meeting Notes:
Book 1: B2B
Workshop Companion Booklet (tbd)

Book 2: C2C
Workshop Companion Booklet (tbd)

New Method Names:

Chapter 2: If You’re Not Talkin’ Your Not Producing. OR You Don’t Talk, You Don’t Deliver. (Communication)

Quote: “Example Quote”

Pre-requisites: Things you’ll need.

  • Smart-phone with Internet connection
  • Google Account

Chapter Goals: “2 sentences that explain everything” and how they relate with what you’re expected to take away from this book. These goals should printable on 1 sheet that could be used as a reminder list of how to run their daily work lives.

Chapter Story:
The blackberry weighed him down. Though he felt connected, Tim often felt frustrated switching between his phone and his blackberry and always wished that they were on the same machine. His company was an Outlook based company and with that their IT department pushed for Blackberries as the primary device. Sam arrived at the elevetor entrence where Tim was busily scanning his morning emails. Sam looked at Tim and remembered his brother who was in the miliary. His memory was seeing his brother’s photos in gear as

he had 60 pounds of equipment strapped to him in the field. Sam didn’t seem any different as he carried his business files in a bag that also served as a stroller. The stroller was to his right, large, bulky and carrying that impression that Sam is an important guy.

“Good morning” Sam told Tim.

Tim could see Sam in his peripheral vision but his

list of emails was where is mind was focused. He didn’t want to seem rude so he quickly looked up at Sam, gave him a quick smile and said, “Good morning.” Sam smiled back, “how’s your morning?” Ding, the familiar sound of the elevator arriving sounded off as they both looked at the elevetor electronic display indicating the up arrow.

The both stepped in as the Tim’s Blackberry vibrated slightly to see an email come in from his boss with the Subject line reading “URGENT”. “Ugh, it’s too early for this. It’s not even9amyet,” he thought. As they both stepped into the elevator, Sam reached over and hit the button labeled “9”. He noticed that Tim didn’t reply to his message as his hands immediately when to his blackberry and started typing away furiously.

The elevator became silent as it started heading up. Ding, came the sound again at the second floor. Tim stopped to type a second just to see Jenny walk in. She saw both Tim and Sam immediately as the doors opened and gave a familiar smile to both as she said, “Good morning.”

They both smiled and returned the same. As she stepped in with her coffee that she had in her hand from the second-floor lunch cafe, Tim looked back at his blackberry and continued typing away. It was clear to Sam and Jenny that Tim was on a deadline of sorts or had some emergency to take care of.

Sam and Jenny continued their morning conversation as they discussed last night’s events in their personal lives and confirming lunch for this afternoon and if they were still on. There was a moment of silence as they both waited for Tim to say something when Jenny touched his arm. Tim was taken out from the letter he was writing and looked at Jenny with his focused gaze. She knew she had just interrupted his thought and repeated what she said, “We’re still on?”

“For?” Sam replied.

“Lunch? What we discussed yesterday.”

“Oh,” he replied, “depends on what’s going on at the office. Seems like something is going down.”

Ding, the elevator chime went off to let them know that they had arrived at their floor. The all walked out of the elevator. Sam and Jenny knew that Tim was most likely not going to be able to make it. It was his gentle passive-aggresive way of saying ‘no’ while saying ‘maybe’.

“Ok,” Jenny said, “well let us know if you have a chance. You want us to stop by or call you?”

Tim started walking toward his office and said to both of them, “Text me. I’ll take a look and if it looks good…” His Blackberry went off again and interrupted his thought. He glanced down while still walking and continued while not looking at them, “I’ll…I’ll let you know.” Sam and Jenny knew he was lost in thought. She turned to Sam, they both exchanged looks, raised their eyebrows as if secretly having a conversation noting what just happened and smiled at each other.

“Guess I’ll see you around 1,” Sam said.

“See you then,” said Jenny as she walked off toward her office.

Tim walked into his office and passed Janice, the front receptionist while still reading his Blackberry and wheeling his bag past her. She looked up to him and said, “Good morning.” Tim didn’t even notice and continued walking to his office as he was lost in the conversation going on in his Blackberry.

As he walked into his office, he took out his laptop and connected it to his base-station. As it was booting, he sat in his chair and finished the email on his blackberry. He went back into his bag and looked through the various pockets as he pulled out his tablet.

As soon as his computer turned on, he opened up 10 browser tabs as he started checking, his business email, his personal emails, then looked at his call log on his phone. There were 3 numbers that called since yesterday close-of-day. As his Outlook opened up, he saw that the current number was 158 unread emails.

He took a moment and noted the silence in his office. He looked at the time on the task bar displaying “8:58 am”. He exhaled, took a deep breath and got to work.

Across the hall, Sam arrived at his office [FILL THIS IN]

Time: Lunch

As they eat, they see outside to see Tim talking on the phone like a madman as he’s talking into his cell phone with his earplugs while texting on the blackberry. As he finishes he walks into the restaurant and Jenny and Sam are there. He joins them as they’re done but they stick around to enjoy time with Tim.
After staying for 5 minutes, Tim’s phone goes off and he looks and it and just grabs his food and goes

apolagetically feeling guilty!; Tim and Jenny head back into the office.
Tim checks his email throughout the entire day and by the time he gets back to his desk (even though he’s completely wired all the time) he still has a

ton of emails to go through. The ticket system sends emails with the same title and same sender and accounts for 40% of his mail. Yet he has to sift through it because each message contains a log of all the messages back and forth. This is why hashtags are so important.; Sam gets back to his desk later on he handles his work when a timer goes off reminding him it’s time to check his email. He whips through it in 40 minutes and gets back to work.

Chapter Body:

  1. Limiting Access to you- prevent 10 ways that people can reach you:
    1. 1 email address (business)
    2. 1 email address (personal)
    3. 1 phone line (personal)
    4. 1 phone line (business)
    5. 1 chat account (private)
    6. 1 phone that can recieve multiple email inboxes
  2. Passive: E-mailing, Gmail
  3. Active: Skype, Freescreensharing
  4. Hyper Active: Phone Call, Text Message.
  5. Establish rules of communication – Netiquette
  6. Using Basecamp or collaborative environments
    1. No Thanks, no signatures
    2. Hash-tags (#) or @ symbols to address team members
      1. Works really well when using Search function
  7. Etiquette in Person
    1. Phones OFF the table
    2. No checking email in meetings

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Tool Name: Gmail
  • Tool Price: Free or Budgeted
  • Tood Description:
  • Tool URL:
  • Tool Name: Google Voice
  • Tool Price: Free or Budgeted
  • Tood Description:
  • Tool URL:
  • Tool Name: Grand Central
  • Tool Price: Free or Budgeted
  • Tood Description:
  • Tool URL:
  • Tool Name: Skype
  • Tool Price: Free or Budgeted
  • Tood Description: Desktop Application and Phone App
  • Tool URL:


Chapter 1: It’s Doesn’t Need to Cost You, or the Environment, that Much. (Footprint – Cost Reduction)

Quote: “Example Quote”


  • A smartphone
  • A computer with an internet connection

Chapter Goals: Focus your daily life and clear the clutter that stacks up in your home or office. Use your phone as your new note-pad and approach tasks with a realistic mindset. Clear the clutter from your life and get you into 21st Century living..

Chapter Story: Chris felt burdened as he waited for the elevator. He had his coat blackberry in his left hand while holding on to the hand

Chapter Body:

How much space do you really need? Think about that. How much space do you really use in your life. Your lifestyle may dictate what type of car you drive, what place you live in or where you work. How you decorate it is one thing but when your decorations become your daily todo lists, books, magazines or other clutter – you’re clutter will begin to slow you down and produce that daily guilt that sits there before we go to bed lingering…waiting…reminding us that tomorrow morning we have so much to do. As they think in the East, the more material possessions you posses, the more they weigh you down. Think about how it will affect your productivity, work/living space and in giving you the sense that

you have everything under control.

[Sam] believes that he knows where everything is in his clutter and within minutes he can find his treasure in the clutter. The problem is that the only place that he’s recorded this is in his mind or on a piece of paper in the very clutter he has to get through. This method may work, but can it be more efficient? We’ll leave that up to [Sam].

Documentation is a word that when said, immediately, calls to mind stacks of paper. It may vary from person to person as college students may see

their thesis, the project manager may see it as a requirements document and an editor as the endless drafts of daily writers. he’s got to get through. One thing is sure, we all have plenty of documentation. Whether at home, the office, the home/office, the car, our wallets/purses

and even our pockets.

Documentation, to the business owner, conjures the horror of a endless series of contract revisions and costly paper trails.

What is the true purpose of documentation? Those reasons may be different for everyone but what we can agree on is that paper is costly, much as ink, binders, folders, drawers, desks and general space of our daily living. The cost of documentation can be high but there’s a solution – keep it digital.

There are endless devices that you can carry your notes, documents, photos and thoughts on. We’re surrounded by computers and tables and most of us carry smart-phones or internet enabled devices in our own pockets. The best

part is that it may already all be connected together – for you – right now.

We’re going to approach

documentation from the big picture to the menial. Ready, here we go:

Documentation: The important stuff – work, taxes, insurance documents, legal stuff, file versions (docs, PSDs or any other kind

of file).

Documentation: Everything else – notes to yourself, notes for someone for “tomorrow”, grocery lists, your aunt’s birthday, your reminder to pick up Bagels on friday for the team meeting.

Documentation: The important stuff

Documentation is nothing more than a fancy way of saying whatever you just produced is now going to be updated and saved as a new file. Here’s the solution – every time you work on a file – end it with a version number. Example:




You can even use the decimal system:


As long as you do this with every change, you have a backup of the file.

Look around you right now and find any documentation that you currently have a digital copy saved on your computer. Take all of it, pile it up and get rid of it. Why do you need a physical version? Because if a solar flare goes off it’ll fry all the computers in the world and you won’t have a way to get your old documents? Guess what, you’ll be more worried about thingsother things than documentation. But for right now, in reality, documentation should be kept on the computer.

Documentation: The important stuff

Here’s a quick framework for how to deal with daily “reminder to ourselves” documentation:

Notepads – get rid of them.

Your new digital Notepad: On your smartphone, home computer, work computer (if allowed) install Evernote. This along with Notes (iPhone) or (“ALEX PLEASE ADD”) (Android) is now your digital notepad. Good bye, pens, pencils and paper. The only reason you may need a notepad is because you want to leave a note for someone. Text them and it’s your way of promoting less waste, pollution and documentation.

After you install Evernote, create 3 new documents (click the big “plus” sign at the bottom):

  1. Todo
  2. Todo Later
  3. Wishlist

Simple rules:

  1. Todo lists must be done in the next 2 days. This includes weekends. The purpose of your to-do list is that it’s an ACTION list – not a reminder.
  2. Todo Later lists must be done in the next week and by week we mean 1 week from the day. These are usually “reminders”. If you get confused and have piled up a list of tasks, you’re doing it wrong and you haven’t read Chapter 6: Time Management Essentials. Be patient, Danialsan!
  3. Wishlists are not tasks yet but rather ideas that you have to schedule or process some time in the future. As these are larger projects like writing a book or taking a dream vacation. If you believe in the power of Believing – I mean really seeing something and believing in it – then this speaks to you. This is your “bucket list”.

Use Evernote to do any of the following:

  • Your Todo, Todo Later and Wishlists
  • Task list – that should consist of anything you have to do today replacing any post-it or notepad you may currently be using
  • Take a photo of something to remind yourself later of
  • Copy directions to a place
  • Write down someone’s name
  • Photo where you parked your car in the theme park
  • Grocery list
  • Take notes in the car. DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE! Ok, we got that out of the way. If you find yourself in the car and you want to write yourself a note, just use Dragon Dictation (an app for most smart phones) to transcribe what you say into your phone and save it to your notes. To see a demonstration of this, check out [NEW METHOD BLOG].

Physical Space

So now that we’ve covered documentation, think of your office now. How much of your office have you dedicated to documentation. What about your staff? Most of us come from backgrounds that teach the philosophy of C.Y.A. – Cover Your Ass. Most likely, all of your employees have come from this tragic lifestyle and as a result you’re paying for it. All the paper and the ink, the copier page counts, the program that’s monitoring how many pages your employees are printing and the terrible culture that it’s promoting. Stop the madness. Trust your employees and, more importantly, have a system that your employees can save their documentation to. They’ll thank you for it, so will the trees, your accountants and your Research and Development department.

Ask yourself, “Have I really researched what I need a physical document version?”. If you have signed documents, contracts, tax paper work or anything that requires physical evidence, then have it stored somewhere. Somewhere safe. And, while you’re at it – keep a digital version, you know…just in case. As each year goes by, digital signatures will become something more commonplace and may, at a certain point, be all that is required as a means of documentation. Until then, keep what you need, keep a digital copy and everything else, get rid of it.

Take a look around and ask yourself if this is what you really need. Endless room that you pay for? Wouldn’t you rather decorate it with something that enhances the space?

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Tool Price: Free or Budgeted
  • Tood Description:
  • Tool URL:


Do yourself a favor and save all your previous versions

in the same place. So if you’re the type of person that saves everything on their desktop – STOP DOING THAT NOW.

Daily Routine
Evernote To-do (:2 minutes)
Check your Calendar (:2 mintutes)
Email Checking (:15 minutes)
Email Processing (:30 minutes)

Weekly Routine
Evernote To-do (:2 minutes)
Check your Calendar (:2 mintutes)
Email Checking (:15 minutes)
Email Processing (:30 minutes)

Cheap Airline Tickets

Where to find cheap ticketsI’ve been working in the airline industry for a little over 2 and a half years now and, although I’m not a seasoned professional, I’m constantly asked by people outside my job where to find the cheapest airfares. I decided to do a little research and following what I’ve learned in the industry and what I’ve been able to comb across different blogs I put a

list together. Here are some

tips that you should know before booking a ticket.

TIP 1: When flying, try to fly between Tuesday through Thursday as these days are the days with the least amount of passengers. You can find yourself a

cheaper ticket this way.

TIP 2: After you find a flight, try going to the airline site itself and book the same flight and see if you get it cheaper. Services such as Orbitz and Priceline have to make a cut some how. If you book on the actual airline site, you might be able to save yourself a booking fee that these other sites charge. This also helps promote the site’s online booking engine (what you use to book your flight) which reduces costs at the airport, saves the company money and

guarantees you a cheaper airfare.

Keep in mind that the key to a cheap airfare depends on the date you are flying, when you are booking your ticket, what airline you fly and several other factors.

Step one: Try any of these fare services: Farecast, Farechase, and Sidestep.

Step two: Try any of these fare aggregators in order: Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity.

Step three: After you know the route, go to the airlines site that you’ve seen a recommended ticket for in one of the previous sites. Remember that you can divide your trip into

2 airlines in order to save, for example, to fly

from Miami to Dublin I’d probably book with British Airways (legacy international carrier) to get to London/Heathrow then take RyanAir (low cost carrier)

to Dublin.

Step four: Consider joining a mileage program like United’s Mileage Plus Program or Spirit Air’s Free Spirit. If you have a chance to get a free ticket using one of these programs, use it. Also, join their mileage program and try to get it through a credit card like Mastercard or Visa in order to ensure that your miles don’t expire.

Good luck, godspeed and happy trails!

For a full listing of different sites for different types of flights, international, domestic, student discount, etc, refer to: Airport Explorer.

A Marketing Plan for Promoting a Club or Bar

Getting your club packed.

Getting your club packed.

For the past several years, my main specialty has been online marketing. Being from Miami, this town runs on marketing. The club scene (known worldwide) are heavy hitters here in the world of marketing and there are some who have sparked movements of music down here. I’ve followed some

of these people for years and learning what they do that shakes up the scene around here and I’ve taken notes. Recently, a friend of mine asked me for a solid plan to get his club up

and running. Following what these movers and shakers have done around town I’ve compiled a quick marketing brief as an initial marketing plan. We plan on following the plan below and I’ll update from time to time how this plan is redefined and shaped as an outcome. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there that want to start your own promotion company and are sick of handing out flyers as a “promoter”. From someone who’s full-time job is online marketing, try using some of these as pointers.

Marketing Plan for a Night Club

1. Twitter 2 messages a week (between 10am – 2pm as that’s when most activity online is happening). People are stuck in their cubicles so it only makes sense that they rely on email, text messages and twitter as a form of entertainment.

2. Website Facebook/Myspace profiles. Create a profile in as many social networking sites as you can. Even if you don’t have a website, buy a domain and redirect it to your Facebook or Myspace pages.

3. Partners – Find yourself some online partners (online stores that sell fashion for the type of club or bar you are promoting. Exchange links with them so they have a link to your party night and they have a link on your website back to them. Try your best to make the links promotions like “MY NIGHTCLUB – buy one drink get one free with this link.” This makes the link time-sensitive and appealing.

4. Pay for online/offline marketing. Don’t rely on your friends to bring people. If you are looking to make a successful night, you need to invest some money.

4a. Google Adwords – $50/month budget
4b. Facebook Ads – $50/month budget
4c. Myspace Ads – $50/month budget
4d. Paid space advertisement

in local alternative news press (2-3 weeks in advance of your party)
4e. Get

an advertisement on your website through Google Adsense so you can make some money from the website.

5. Audio mix for the week as a

Downloadable/Streaming Podcast. Get your resident DJ to record some of their mixing that night or ask them to make a mix at home that you can use to promote the club night. Most importantly, take down each show as soon as the next club night finishes so the mix is no

longer available. Once again, making it time-sensitive forcing people to constantly return to your website.

6. Sell Locally. Get a local store to work with to sell your stuff (mixes, videos, flyers, etc…).

7. Locals Help Locals. Get a local store to sell their stuff at the club. Let’s say you work with a local fashion store, try to get them to set up a stand (which is basically a 6-ft. table) at the bar, club and let them sell some of their stuff to patrons of your club. This allows the club to offer more to your patrons other than drinks and music. This

also entices tourists to buy something before they leave. When else will you be in a nightclub in this particular city.

8. Online Video Commercials. Post videos and create a Youtube channel of clips of the club night. Show off your sexy crowd and get people to come by making music videos/commercials of your best night.

9. Get your photos out there. Get a dedicated photographer for the event. Don’t ask your girl/boy-friend to do it (unless they are photographers). Get someone who actually likes photography and offer them free drinks and free admission for them and a number of guests. Most likely they know some photogenic people who will come with them to the club and make the nightclub look better in the photographs that they take. There are many photographers out there and it’s their trade to make things look good. Take care of them. Also, allow them to have rights on the photos so they can promote your night while distributing their work as a portfolio. You never know where you will attract new fans.

10. Do the show in another city. Try taking your best night and throwing it in another bar in another city. This will give your nightclub a sense of being more than

just a local night. Think of it like Hard Rock Cafe. It does seem impressive when you see so many shirts with so many cities labeled on them (e.g. Moscow, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles). If you work with a local fashion shop and sell these during the club night, you may generate even more profit. Once again, pay particular attention to young tourists. Ask yourself, will they want a t-shirt saying “New York” from the airport or from your club night.

11. Email. Send an email at least 1 time a week that advertises your partners, photos, videos, music and your future events. Adhere to the 10am – 2pm rule I’ve noted in #1 above. Email marketing works. I’m not telling you to spam. Collect email addresses from your patrons at the door and offer them $1-2 off (if you charge at the door) for offering their email address. This entices them and your list will grow with time. Concentrate on this list to send email promotions and offer a link to Forward to a Friend.

Following the above plan we estimate growing at 10% each and every month. Try this plan yourself and let me know how it works for you. If you are a seasoned promoter and have more to contribute to this please contribute in the comments section and I’ll update this post.

photo by: Ralph-Thompson

New Years Resolutions

What up party people. Time for change!

What up party people. Time for change!

This is an article about how

to finish your New Year’s Resolution

– pick something fun.

You know, if I can look back on this year, I can see that it is definitely a year of many accomplishments. All of this starting with one goal – I’m going to learn how to ski. I learned how to ski, I learned how to SCUBA-dive, I learned how to Dance Cha-cha, Tango, and re-learned East Coast Swing and in all these learning I’ve discovered a lot about myself. This has been a good year and a lot of it I believe is to my mindset.

To the people I give a message, if you got some free time, take some time to learn something new and exciting. It’ll end up paying itself off in just offering you a new experience in the world. I’ve always wanted to be an Astronaut but just learning how to SCUBA-dive I’ve learned what it’s like to be in another world (“in”

being the keyword there). It’s really incredible to immerse yourself in what 70% of this world is covered with – in essence, the real planet Earth. So when your New Year’s Resolution comes around to haunt you – like loosing weight or going back to school – try for something a little more positive and fun. It’s a goal you are establishing – not a debt that you’re going to try to pay. Make something positive of your life and live a little – go to your nearest community college website and see what community education classes they may have to offer. Perhaps this is the year you learn how to

use Photoshop. Good luck and have fun.

photo by: JD Hancock