Episode 114 |

Outsource and Automate, in Work and in Life with Nick Sonnenberg

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This Week’s Guest:

Inbox zero. It’s something we all strive for: that satisfying “(0)” beside your inbox, indicating that you have no new emails or emails that need your attention and minimizing the amount of time you need to spend on your email every day. For those of us who are bombarded by dozens or hundreds of daily emails, though, maintaining inbox zero can require rigorous commitment and attention in and of itself. That’s why the key isn’t just email management, but also getting to email zero.


That may sound counterintuitive or impossible, but my guest today explains exactly what this means and why it’s such a powerful strategy. Nick Sonnenberg is here to help you automate the mundane aspects of your life to minimize (or eliminate) the time you spend on stuff that doesn’t bring you joy. Nick is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for creating companies that disrupt the way people live. He’s the cofounder of Leverage and the former CEO of Calvin App.


Find Out More About Nick Here:


Nicholas Sonnenberg on LinkedIn

Nick Sonnenberg on Facebook

@nicholassonnenberg on Instagram

Idea to Execution by Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg


In This Episode:

  • [01:22] – Nick starts things off by discussing how to gain leverage, which he explains is a topic that applies to both your business life and your personal life. He then goes through some of his favorite hacks for getting time back.
  • [04:12] – Stephan digs into the concept of inbox zero that Nick brought up. Nick then offers his advice for managing email.
  • [09:30] – In response to Nick’s advice to filtering some things straight to your archive, Stephan points out that he receives some things from mailing lists that he really needs to see. Nick then offers his advice for this situation.
  • [11:57] – It’s very tough to find someone you trust enough to manage your email for you, Nick points out. He then goes into more details about options for managing your inbox.
  • [14:24] – The best way to get to inbox zero is to get to email zero. Nick offers some strategies for doing this.
  • [16:04] – What’s the difference between using Slack to communicate with your team as opposed to a tool like Asana or Trello or Basecamp?
  • [19:14] – Stephan just recently switched from Trello to Asana.
  • [21:16] – What sort of trusted systems does Nick use or recommend? And how is he keeping track of his bookmarks?
  • [25:21] – Nick talks about how he battles attention residue. He explains that he assigns general themes to his days.
  • [29:02] – We hear about Nick’s forthcoming project management software and why it’s better than Trello.
  • [33:26] – Nick clarifies what a kanban system or workstyle is. The typical flow is that you dump everything that needs to get done into a backlog, then move it from the backlog stage to the doing stage, then from the doing stage to the done stage.
  • [35:32] – Nick discusses using a virtual assistant to get some of your time back by delegating tasks that don’t require you to do them yourself. He also goes into depth about what his company does, which is far more than just simple research and email management.
  • [38:48] – How does the pricing for Nick’s company, Leverage, work?
  • [41:08] – Is Nick using any sort of screenshotting tool to make sure that his contractors are being honest about their time?
  • [43:32] – Nick talks about some other apps that his business uses and discusses his use of GitHub instead of Trello.
  • [47:11] – Nick lists some ways to get in touch with his company if you’ve decided you want to work with them.


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