How I Work - 2019 edition

This is the 2019 version of a How I Work post that I wrote in 2016. Wrote this as an email to a colleague who liked the system I used. 

I often get asked how do I do all the things I do. My reply is almost always the same - I dont do a lot. I just pretend. But even with that, I have a system. In this post, I will try to talk about the system that I use. 

The system is made of a few philosophical ideas and some tools. Here is a list of the two.

So, this is a list of tools that I increasingly use to rely on things.

1. The Brain (freemium)

What does this tool do?
This tool mimics how the human brain thinks and make connections.

What do I use this tool for?
I use this to dump EVERYTHING I have in my head. Each night I narrate a voice note to my EA. He then transcribes the notes and puts on the brain in threads that he thinks is relevant. Once I open it, in case I find a thread that is not in the right place, I do it. This reinforces things in my head as well.

Brain does not have the ability to store longer notes and thus those go in Evernote / Google Drive.

2. Airtable (freemium)

What does this tool do?
This is like excel sheet but on steroids. The key difference is that on excel, all data is numbers and on this, each row / column could have different data types (numbers, images, links, tables etc).

What do I use this tool for?
I use this for CRM. Each meeting I have, each call I make is logged into this. Again, I make voice notes and send to my EA. He transcribes and enters the details in this. For CRM, this piece will be useful for you to set this up.

Other tools for CRM
Apart from these, the other tools that you could try and experiment with are:
  • Notion - - a better notepad.
  • - a team / task management tool
  • Hubspot - gold standard in how the world manages its CRM

3. Asana (freemium)

What does this tool do? What do I use this tool for?
This is a task manager. For each thing I am working on, I divide it into tasks. And then I get my EA to put those tasks in this. Each task has a person who's directly responsible for it, a deadline, a priority and an impact area (what does that task help me achieve - money? connections? brand?).

This is my lifeline. If this stops working, I'll die.
You may want to try Trello, Wunderlist etc. All these are task managers essentially and allow you to log what you work on.

4. Miro (freemium)

What does this tool do?
This is a virtual whiteboard. You can pin things, make notes, link to stuff and others.

What do I use this tool for?
This is where I chart and plot where I want to be in life.


All these are dependent on a few things...
  • Google as login. Its SUPER easy to save files, move them around with logins and all that if I use Google as the backend. Of course I have concerns on the privacy piece but I am not as important to be hacked.
  • Device / location independence - I want to be able to access these things from anywhere in the world, on any device, as long as I have internet. So, all is on the cloud.
  • Ownership of time - I own my time. I value my freedom and time more than anything else.
  • Trial and Error - these things are very personal and you will have to try multiple iterations and variations before you find a system that works for you.
  • People. I have a team of 2 to manage my life. One is my EA - the most important piece. I am super lucky to have found someone young that I trust and can mould into the way I work. I don't know how long he'd stay with me but I will try and ensure that when he moves out, I have a replacement in place. The other is a BA - a business analyst that does all my homework. I just got him onboard and I am experimenting to see how it works out. The guy does not manage my time per se but saves me time by doing research etc. Think of it as an outsourced brain.
  • Brains are meant for thinking and NOT for storing. The day I realised this, I "outsourced" all the remembering to The Brain and to my EA. Now, when I need info, I use the tools to retrieve and in case tools fail, I call the EA and that guy's job is to remember anyway! Saves me brainpower.

That's about it. Shortish post. 

Like I said, this is the 2019 version of the post that I wrote in 2016. My methodology and madness has remained the same - the tools have evolved (from excel to Airtable etc.).

Hope these help. In case any of you wants me to set these up for you, please do let me know. I am one email away :)

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?