Escape the 9-5 ...
To be honest with you, I'm never really sure what to make of books with titles like The 4-hour work week but a friend said that she'd read it and found it really interesting, so I took the plunge and bought a copy.
I'm eternally sceptical about 'get rich quick' schemes, which is probably why I'm broke, but I found much of interest in this book, particularly in terms of web tips and resources and advice for personal organisation.
There's no substitute for buying the book itself of course, or taking a look at Tim Ferriss's website and blog, but there are a number of useful web-related tips that I'll pass on here which particularly caught my interest.
Dealing with email overload
This is a constant problem for most of us connected to the web I would guess.
Although The 4-hour work week sounds like a get-rich quick book, and does indeed offer tips on how to do that very thing, it also offers lots of really practical ideas on how to manage some of the modern world's worst curses so that you spend less of your work time carrying out pointless and futile tasks.
So check out Tim's posts on the following topics:
Interesting that he thinks, like me (or do I think like him?), that Googlemail is the most effective handler of spam emails that I've found so far.
I've not read this anywhere else yet, but I reckon Googlemail kills spam virtually 100%.
If you pick it up your Googlemail via Outlook Express, and set up Googlemail to pick up email from your other accounts, you need never see another spam mail again.
One of the premises of the book is starting and running an online business with a view to making a quick buck.
That's all very well, but I found this section a little simplistic, as it takes some time and skill to establish a web presence.
However, as always, that doesn't mean that the advice offered is without merit, there are still many gems in there.
This is suggested as a tool to record interviews for 'how to' CDs.
I hadn't heard of this website before and, in spite of its bizarre horizontal orientation, it's worthy of a trial.
Note also that other options are available.
Yahoo Small Business
Search term tips so you can determine your marketing niche.
Also mentioned here are the Google Keyword Sandbox, wordtracker.com (a paid-for service with a free trial) and Ask.com where you're advised to enter the search term that you're investingating, then use the 'narrow your search', expand your search' and 'related terms' as part of your research.
Despite the weird URL, this website offers lots of paid-for services like newsletter creations, email marketing campaigns and so on.
A nice site, and interesting (free!) blog and the pricing seems fine if you're unable to do these things yourself.
Take a close look at this blog before you part with any cash though as I've produced tutorials on how to set up autoresponders, setting up newsletter campaigns for free and creating forms.
What a fascinating, but depressing, website!
Download the great widget which gives you site data for your website.
Laptopmanpaul.co.uk has a traffic rank of: 25,56273933,199 - see what I mean about depressing?
Understanding your web traffic
Resources to work out who's clicking, when, from where, for how long ... and what they were doing at the time.
That last one was a joke ... but you get my drift.
Google does it better, free and simply once again.
Clicktracks ... watch out, 'Solutions Starting at $995' is never a good start, but there is a free download on this site.
For the really keen ...
Hey, this 4-hour work week lark is a bit time-consuming!
Here are three websites for testing your online business proposition using a wide variety of variables:
Is it for you?
So, do you fancy a 4-hour work week after all that?
Don't be put off by some of my remarks, there's lots in this book that isn't about getting rich quick and there's a lot of stuff about organising yourself better and working more effectively.
I particularly enjoyed the email management and building web business sections.
Give the blog a try first and if you like it, perhaps try the book.
If you succeed in getting your working week down to 4 hours let me know!