6 Digital Process Tips from Chris Brogan and The Law of 40%

by Jason Yarby on Jan 14, 2015

The Social Media Toolkit Podcast by Social FreshToday, Social Fresh is launching the Social Toolkit Podcast. Each episode we will discuss the social, marketing, and productivity toolkit from a digital native guest.

Our first 10 episodes are available for download today. Listen on iTunes here, or search for the “social toolkit” on the podcast app of your choice.

Joining in on our first episode was Chris Brogan of Owner Media Group, who make courses and other tools to help you own your life and business. Chris is a NYTimes Bestselling author & leading authority on owning the game you most want to win.

We talked about Google Keep, Android, Picmonkey, Rainmaker, Trello, Dropbox, and many more apps, services and software.

Listen to the full episode here:

And check out some of Chris Brogan’s toolkit tips below.

Google Keep (the tool that saves Chris the most time)

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1. Color code notes in Google Keep to increase efficiency

If you color code them you can pull data faster. Here are 3 of Chris’s color codes:

  1. White – less urgent items
  2. Green– get healthier / better
  3. Gold – programs – reminds me to go through certain processes

2. Use Google Keep  to remind you of what to do during the day (human programming)

Little recipes that I follow when I get up in the morning, the first things I do in the day, if I’m feeling a little stuttery, and I have a little extra time in the day, I’ll go to my keep and see what I can get done.

3. Create short notes/lists to capture quick thoughts

Where you parked, sites to come back to, phone numbers, etc.

Picmonkey (the tool that saves Chris the most money)

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4. Skip using a designer for simple creative assets, use Picmonkey

  • Keeps Chris from having to bother a designer for a simple button or banner on his sight. Instead, he can use Picmonkey. Literally saves him thousands.
  • Create Images, buttons, and banners. On Ownermag.com, Picmonkey is used for all the images you see
  • Use Picmonkey for collages, words over text, and resizing images to share on unique social channels.
  • It’s great for diversifying the availability of high quality images for anyone, as everyone may not have access to photoshop or the budget for a designer.

Rainmaker (Chris uses for publishing, blogging)

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5. Use Rainmaker as your host, WordPress theme, lead gen software and plugins

  • Long list of features:membership site, email integration, forums, lead gen, most of the plug-ins you need
  • High quality customer support
  • Easy to build and launch a podcast using Rainmaker
  • Easy to customize without a designer or developer

Productivity and Organization Tools

  • Trello – For task management of larger, more involved projects.
  • Dropbox – “Save yourself the hassle of trying to send large files back and forth. Create a shared folder, send the link, and simplify your life.”
  • Google Calendar – Chris is using Google Docs to write books and Google Sheets for budgetary purposes. “I’m a single tasker as best as I can. But more of than than not, I’m touching a google product.”


6. Practice The Law of 40%

“People try to do is schedule their day to 100% and I try to schedule mine at 40%, that way I can just work on the things that matter the most and have slack room for those things that matter most.

“40% on the things that matter the most. Most people start by putting small rocks in their jar, instead of the big rocks, which leaves no room. Start with getting your big rocks in and you’ll have room for small rocks.”

Bonus Questions

What are you up to in 2015?

This 2015 season I’m thinking of launching “An Evening with Chris Brogan.” Making it a crowd sourced kind of mindset.

What sites or tools do you utilize for content discovery?

Facebook and Twitter uncover stuff for me. But you know, I try not to discover content by my colleagues. I want weird outlier stuff.

What tools and apps are your favorite for taking/editing photos?

Picmonkey. I love Over for mobile (wish Picmonkey would buy Over). I like Aviary too.

What tools are you currently use for any automation?

I use zero automation except for InfusionSoft to help with course delivery, and if Hootsuite ever gives me back a black background, I’ll use that again.

What do you use to track metrics and analytics?

I don’t. I don’t care any more.

Are you currently using any sort of external hardware for your phone or computer?

Blue Yeti microphone for podcasts. The Blue Tiki is pretty cool for travel podcasting.

What tool have you found to provide you the most success with Lead Generation?

My podcast, my blog, my newsletter, the social channels all thread together. Also my speaking gigs.

What 3 social media tools can you not live without?

I need email, a blog, and a picture host. That’s about it.


What phone do you use?

Android, MotoX (old one, not new one) hungout with the MotoX folks and liked it. It’s the kind that listens all the time, “I just say ‘ok Google Now and it gets to work’”.

What apps do you use most?

Google Keep, Instagram, Mailbox as email service, Google Drive, Carbon as the Twitter Client.

What social network for most time spent? Pers/Pro?

Instagram. “I used to crap on people for using Instagram all the time, but now I love it. I like the simplicity factor.” “You can double thumb your way through Instagram.” I also like WhatsApp – I like for small micro groups.

Best piece of content you have ever created? Pers/Pro?

I really loved my book, “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.” It wasn’t my best selling book, but it was a very fun book for me. It was a book of passion, that I wrote for my kids.

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Director of Strategy for Social Fresh, Founder of The Wild Letters. Frequent Traveler. Sartorial. Lots of Coffee. A serious weakness for new experiences. #CharityIsSexy...