The Side Hustle Journal

Turning 9 to 5'ers to Entrepreneurs

Today, I wanted to share with you a product I’m following on Kickstarter.

I’m in no way affiliated with the product or company, and won’t make a dime off any sale. I just like the product, met the founder, and thought I’d share it with my readers who share my interest for all things productivity.

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TMN Sponsor of the Week: Meekan


Meekan is the smart meeting scheduler for Gmail, iCloud and Exchange calendars. It’s free, and available for Android, iPhone/iPad and Microsoft Outlook

Meekan’s flexible time scheduling engine matches everyone’s calendars in seconds, and pinpoints the best times to meet. No more email Ping-Pong to schedule meetings.

No matter which calendar you use, Meekan’s Global Availability Engine takes into account free/busy availability, time zones and working hours of all team members, including out-of-company participants using another calendar program (Gmail, Google Apps, Exchange/ and iCloud).

No need to browse your calendar for availability. Let Meekan sort all your free time and suggest the best times. Perfect for on-the-go situations. Instant recognition of other Meekan users, automatically suggests free time slots common to all attendees. The more you use it, the better it gets. Meekan will learn your preferences and offer tailored choices to optimize your time.

Meekan is how scheduling should look  – stop working for your calendar, let Meekan work for you.


Save Time Writing With Scrivener

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of tools that save time and effort.

When it comes to writing, there are only a few tools I use.

For my blog, I do most of my post writing in WordPress.

When it comes to longer projects, I use Scrivener for Mac.

Scrivener is my top pick when it comes to writing and creative work.

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How to Hold a Quick & Easy Virtual Meeting –

Ever need a quick way to share your computer screen with someone?

Maybe a remote colleague? Or a client?

However, you are in the middle of a phone conversation.

You don’t want to bother to set up a conference. Mail invitations. Etc.

Today, I want to show you a tool that lets you quickly set up a virutal meeting.

It is so easy that you can do it on the fly.

It’s called

Join Me at is perhaps the quickest, easiest way to setup a virtual meeting.

Simply go to ( also works) and you can download the meeting client in moments.

Your partipants then go to and type in a simple 9-digit meeting code.

That’s it!

No registration, setup, accounts, invitations, etc.

And the best part? is free.

Other details:

– It can share with up to 250 attendees

– You can pass mouse control to a participant

– It has chat and file sharing functionailty

– It even has free tele-conference built in

And one of my favorite features is that there is an iPad/iPhone client for attendees.

Watch this quick video demo of

If you cannot see the video in your browser, click here to view it. is the quickest and easiest tool I have found to hold a virtual meeting.

It is so quick, that when on the phone I can set up screen sharing on the fly and simply read out the 9-digit meeting code.

It is that easy!

Quick and Effective Virtual Meetings is a free service that is provided by LogMeIn. You are probably familiar with them, as they make many remote access applications.

The next time you need a quick hassle-free way to share your screen with someone, try

It is great for individuals, small businesses, and even those who are dealing with their corporate technology limitations.

What do you use for virtual meetings?

Always Choose Tools You’ll Use

Have you ever bought a new time management tool only to have it end up in a desk drawer?

You know, that fancy calendar that you thought would help organize your day.

Or that shiny new gadget that you knew would help you stay on top of things.

However, you quickly found that the new tool was not to your liking. Or perhaps, you were not skilled at using it.

Soon it was forgotten and unused.

That is why it is important to always choose tools you’ll use.

Will You Use That Tool?

An executive I worked with once, was extremely disorganized. He was determined to get his professional life in order, so he went out and purchased the latest and most expensive smartphone available.

It had all the bells and whistles. Mobile email. Internet Access. Downloadable apps.

It was powerful and customizable. And a great time management tool.

The executive was sure that this shiny gadget would make him more effective. More organized. And able to get more done.

It might have helped.

Except, he didn’t use it.

In fact, he was so frustrated with the device that he proclaimed that it must be defective.

Within 2 weeks it was in a desk drawer. Within a month it was returned to the store.

What Works For You?

There are myriad different types of time management tools. From paper dayplanners to Moleskine notebooks, to the latest iPhones and iPads.

But, the bottom line is that there is no one solution.

You have to choose what works for you.

“The best time management solution for you… depends on your own personal preferences and skills.”

Remember the executive that bought the latest smartphone. It didn’t work for him.

Instead, keep your tools relevant to you. That is the key.

Choose tools that you like… that you are good with… that work for you.

Choose Your Tools

Paper. Tech. Online. Smartphone. It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that your choice fits you.

Don’t pick a technology solution if you are tech averse.

Likewise, don’t choose a large paper planner if you aren’t going to carry and use it.

Here are some tips to help you choose tools you’ll use:

  • Go With What You Like – Personal preference is very important. The more you like your time management tools, the most likely you are to use them consistently.
  • Go With What You Know – Ensure you choose tools that you are skilled at using. Just because you like a tool doesn’t mean you are going to be proficient with it.
  • Choose the Simplest Solution – Avoid complicated tools that don’t deliver value. Don’t confuse complexity with effectiveness. Beware bloated software, apps or gadgets that take more time than they save.
  • Avoid Redundancy – Too many tools can be overwhelming. Try to minimize the number of tools in your time management system. I recommend adhering to the “Power of 1.”
  • Sometimes You Need to Learn New Tools – Occasionally you may need to take on new tools. But, take the time to learn them. Read the instructions. Get help online. For example, if you are not familiar with smartphones or the latest social communication tools, it might be time to learn some new skills.

What’s In Your Toolbox?

It doesn’t matter if you prefer paper or technology.Whether you go with a dayplanner or a smartphone.

What does matter is that you choose tools that you will actually use.

Choosing tools that you like and are good with will ensure that you keep using them over the long term.

You will be more effective and might just find that you have less unused tools sitting in that desk drawer. 🙂

Which tools do you choose to use and why?

Could the iPad 2 Replace Your Dayplanner?

Unless you have been living on a deserted island, you are aware that Apple is releasing the newly updated iPad 2 on Friday.

The iPad has continued to shape and evolve the portable post-PC marketplace. Today, I wanted to look at some of the ways that the iPad 2 will be used for productivity.

Many time management fans love their technology and are always searching for the holy grail of time management tech.

Could the iPad 2 be your new dayplanner?

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TMN Review: Master Lock Speed Dial

I am a big fan of simple design.

I couldn’t resist doing a quick video review of the new Master Lock Speed Dial Lock.

It is even available in my TMN colors of green and black. Thanks, Master Lock!

Simple Design

As you can see from the photo, the Speed Dial lock doesn’t have the traditional numbers dial on it.  Instead, it has a 4-directional push pad that looks like it is from a video game controller.

To see just how simple this lock is to operate, watch this quick 2 minute review where you can see the lock in action.

Lock Features

This lock is quick and simple to open. I think it most cases you could input the combo before you could input the first number on a traditional lock.

You can open it without looking and with one hand, if needed.

It comes with a simple 4 direction combination, but you can set it to whatever you want.

In the video, I set the blue lock to, “Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right.” (Little allusion for the gamers out there.)

If you don’t like remembering directions, the lock comes with a series of stickers ranging from colors to symbols.

Master Lock has also set up a website where you can store your lock combinations.

I am sure we have all at some point found an old lock in a drawer and had no clue what the combo was. Master Lock Vault also has an iPhone app, which could come in handy.

Highly Recommended

If you need a lock for the gym or work or whatever, check out this new lock.

You can find the Master Lock  Speed Dial here at Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review. The Amazon link is an affiliate link.

PS – I was surprised to see some frustrated reviews on Amazon from people that had trouble setting their locks. I didn’t have a problem with either of these two locks. You can see in the video how easily they operate and I changed the combo on them repeatedly without issue.