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Most people have goals in life. To lose weight. Make more money. Finish an important project. Improve a relationship. But we do not always make as much progress on our goals as we want to.

Most people also use lists in life. Checklists are familiar. A grocery list, a travel list, etc. And of course, we usually create at least one task list for the work we do.

A task list does not always lead to more productivity. In fact, a long list of tasks seems to lead us to accomplish more simple/easy/quick tasks. The harder tasks, often the ones…


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Photo by Greg Rosenke

When I first started running there were a lot of factors to consider before heading out the door. Is it raining? How am I feeling? Does my schedule allow time? Do I have enough energy? Is anybody else available to join? Which route should I run? How many miles should I run? Should I hold off until I can buy new shoes?

These types of questions were common. I found myself answering these questions almost every day. And any one of these questions could quickly turn into an excuse not to run. It is raining. It is too hot. I…


My journey building a profitable side business over the past 13 years.

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Photo by Courtnie Tosana

Have you ever built a fire for the sake of building a fire? The kind of fire you want started quickly. You grab a few twigs and maybe throw in some leaves. But then it starts to fade so you scramble and throw in more leaves. Eventually, you toss a few thicker branches on top and hope they are dry enough to catch. These types of fires never seem to last long. They are more work than it’s worth to get started and keep burning for long.

These fires are a lot like certain side hustles. The type of business…


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Photo by Burst

There are a lot of decisions to make every day. What to eat. What to wear. Financial decisions. How to prioritize your time. For me, I only seem to have so much “decision energy” for any given day. My will power runs out and I start to avoid decisions or make poor decisions later in the day. Apparently I am not the only one. The field of psychology has identified decision fatigue as a contributing factor in many poor decisions.

I have found a way to reduce the stress caused by decision making. I look for different ways to find…


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Photo by Frederik Højfeldt Nielsen

For as long as I can remember my family has owned two cars. One for my wife and one for me. We recently decided to get rid of my car. We are officially a one-car family. When making this decision, a lot of what-ifs tried to stop us.

What if our only car breaks down?

What if we both need to go somewhere important?

What if I have to return to the office?

What if there is an emergency and we need a vehicle right away?

These what-ifs are mostly emotionally driven. Fear based. Our mind running towards comfort —…


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Photo by i yunmai

It is hard to lose weight. It is just as hard to keep the weight off. Around 8 years ago I lost 35 pounds. I have been able to maintain my weight by adhering to a few simple habits.

Walk more often. As part of my plan to stick with exercise I build in opportunities to walk. Every week day I take at least one long walk at work. Weather permitting my family tries to take a long walk every evening.

Limit the hours to eat. Embracing simple constraints can have long term impacts. I limit how late I can…


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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

I used to track WAY too many things every day. Tracking as in keeping a record. Writing it down and watching the trends.

I wanted to maximize each day. I assumed tracking everything was the answer. Over time, the amount of things I tracked daily became ridiculous. I tracked everything:

  • Steps taken
  • Conversations
  • Sleep
  • Words written
  • Page views
  • Social media engagement
  • What I ate
  • My exercise
  • Our finances

I saved these, and more, in one spreadsheet or another. And in some cases the tracking helped. I found myself walking more and eating less. I was writing more and consuming less…


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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I make products and sell services. My most successful product is Hours Worked. The product has been through many updates over the years. Some major updates and some minor updates. Major updates include: releasing on a new platform, adding brand new features, or rewriting the entire product. Each major update has had two things in common:

  1. They made the product more successful than ever.
  2. Not a single customer asked for these updates.

Solve your own problems

I should clarify. Not a single external customer requested these major changes. They were my own interests. I wanted them. Originally, I created Hours Worked to track my…


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Photo by William Hook on Unsplash

Part of living with less has meant narrowing my attention further and further. To the point of obsession. Since 2013 I have had an obsession. Most people that know me would agree. I have been obsessed with apps. Obsession gets a bad rap. It turns out my obsession came with a few advantages.

The Reach of my Obsession

My obsession with apps permeated almost every area of my life.

My Day Job. I found ways to build mobile apps that added value to the organization I worked for. My boss took a risk allowing me, a traffic engineer, to spend some of my time developing…


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Comparing app store impressions before and after an ASO update

Background

Earlier this year I went through the App Store Optimization (ASO) process for one of my personal apps. App store impressions doubled immediately. Profits for the app almost doubled as well. This post outlines a phased approach for an ASO project. Never heard of ASO? Until recently, neither had I. ASO is akin to SEO for the app stores. A successful ASO project will increase app store metrics such as:

  • Ranking position for targeted search terms
  • App Store impressions
  • Organic app downloads

Recommended Approach

There are five recommended phases for an ASO project:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Document current state
  3. Prepare recommendations
  4. Implement recommendations

John MacAdam

Professional transportation engineer, web designer, and mobile app developer from Columbus, Ohio.

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