Enough Talk, More 🔥

I’m all fired up, guys. It’s time to end the talk.

Today, I’m starting vlogging on Instagram and Snapchat (@nicknish) and I’m my blog posts will be far more about documenting the journey than “30 best tips to get you a job as a millennial”. And I’m going for speed. I want a constant stream of my struggles, failures, and successes out for everyone to see. I’m grabbing the life I want and make it.

Continue reading “Enough Talk, More 🔥”

The Best Visual Studio Code Extensions

Man, I love the extensibility of Visual Studio Code so I compiled a list of the best extensions.

  • Sublime Text Keymap – Use Sublime Text keyboard shortcuts.
  • Settings Sync – Setup a GitHub gist once and backup your configuration settings.
  • GitLens – Git supercharged – Powerful Git tool for visualizing code authorship and diff comparing at a glance.
  • Path Intellisense – Autocomplete filenames. This makes importing modules in ES6 a breeze.
  • Contextual Duplicate – Duplicates highlighted text like Sublime Text, instead of duplicating the entire line. If you don’t have anything highlighted, it will duplicate the entire line.
  • Auto Close Tag – Automatically add HTML/XML close tag like Sublime Text.
  • vscode-icons – Icons for VSCode.
  • Bracket Pair Colorizer – Changes the color of each pair of brackets to make it easier for scanning.
  • Project Manager – Manage your projects right inside Visual Studio Code. Easily access and switch between them.
  • Prettier – Opinionated autoformatter for frontend code.
  • Open in GitHub / Bitbucket / GitLab / VisualStudio.com – Like GitHubinator for Sublime Text, jump to a source code line in GitHub or other clients.
  • One Dark Pro – Atom’s iconic One Dark theme for VSCode
  • File Utils – Adds convenient commands for creating, duplicating, moving, renaming, and deleting files and directories.

See the popular VSCode extensions here.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming post where I talk about switching from Sublime Text to Visual Studio Code.

My Trello Workflow for Generating Blog and Product Ideas

I use this Trello workflow to generate more ideas for blog posts and new products than ever did with lists. As I’m now pumping out ideas every day, publishing a weekly blog post, and thinking of side hustles, this workflow has been critical to maintaining my velocity.

And it’s incredibly simple. Originally, I heard about this workflow on the IndieHackers podcast. When the interviewee discussed it, a lightbulb went off in my head. Even though I have always admired Atlassian, Trello never stuck as one of my tools until now.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Create a board, “Blog Post Ideas”.

  2. Then create lists to separate the stage of the idea. Here they are from left-to-right:

  • Rough Ideas
  • Promising Ideas
  • Finished
  • Published

Image 2018-03-10 at 4.39.48 PM

Note: For my product ideas board, the lists are different because a product’s work isn’t done after the V1 is completed.

  • Rough Ideas
  • Promising Ideas
  • Work in Progress
  • Completed
  • Failed
  • Successful

Finally, regardless of your workflow, you can try these tips and tactics to generate more ideas.

  • Add your idea the moment you think of it. If you use Trello for iPhone, they have a wonderful offline mode and sync.

  • Please don’t judge your ideas right away. Ideas are vulnerable babies that should be allowed to grow.

  • Jot down as many relevant notes as possible. Since we don’t usually start and finish executing an idea in one sitting, it’s important to write as much as you need to recontextualize later.

  • Use short, staccato thoughts with bullet points to get everything out on paper. I found if I tried to make my thoughts too eloquent, I would spend precious attention making it sound nice, which is ultimately less important than writing the relevant details. Write the idea down while it lasts.

Age of Distraction

This a reminder for myself and fellow millennials.

We live in the Age of Distraction. In the age of push notifications, social media platforms, Netflix, and unlimited access to everything in our pockets, there are infinite ways to use our attention. In addition, companies are getting better at making habit-forming, or addictive, products to command our attention more.

But your time and attention are limited resources. Mind your habits. Beware distractions and desire. Be clear about your goals and care enough to be disciplined.

If we can only be effective on a few things a day, what are you choosing to spend your time on? If you on Facebook or Instagram multiples times every day, how does that affect the happiness and success of your day? How much time do you spend avoiding what you need to do? Are you pushing yourself?

Travel Designers

Travel agents are becoming fashionable again as “travel designers”, and after a hellish traveling experience I understand why.

As agents used to, travel designers handle the painful parts: planning, executing, and management.

However, unlike agents, designers tailor the experience to your tastes. It seems like you choose how much involvement you want with itinerary planning. Unlike a prepackaged experience that agents offer, the trip becomes uniquely yours because it’s based on your preferences. Then, you go on your trip and they handle the rest.

I wonder if the travel agent industry died out because it was transactional, not experiential. From what I’ve heard, no one looks forward to speaking with their agent. You didn’t learn about the best secret restaurants and hotels from them and you were charged a premium for what you can do with TripAdvisor for free.

So why would someone pay for this in the age of free information?

I’ve always enjoyed planning my trips, but after taking way too much shit during my 3-month stint in Asia, I get it. I’m incredibly price-sensitive, too. I’d rather stay in $10/night hostels if they are clean and comfortable.

But then I spent +30 hours in the last month planning and managing only accommodations! On occasion, this necessitated interrupting work hours, so the disruptions significantly affected my productivity. It boiled over when I felt like I was spending so much energy planning the coming weeks that I couldn’t stop to enjoy the present moment.

I’m tired of loading my Skype account so I can make expensive international calls to dispute hotel charges and negotiate refunds. I’m tired of being charged a premium for terrible experiences (have you been told “it’s tourist season”, too?). I want to focus on important work, my creative pursuits, and enjoying Asia.

Sometimes the pursuit of saving money is expensive in time and attention. In this case, to plan hotels is not why I chose to travel, and I’m willing to pay something to remove some menial tasks and manage my trip.

What do you think?

I’ve started looking into travel designers and initiated help from Journy, a modern company looking to improve this experience. Keep an eye out for my review of the experience, and if I think travel designers can be worth it.

Leverage Skills

Oftentimes learning a new skillset can help provide a perspective or unblock you to reach a higher level.

I’ve begun to call these leverage skills.

Leverage skills are skills when combined with an in-demand skill, make you more effective and provide leverage in your work. They can be used to improve job security, salary, creative ability, and more. They enable you to reach a higher echelon in your world. Especially in technology and creative fields, improving in one of these skills can have a massive impact on your professional life.

Combining multiple leverage skills develops a unique perspective and skillset that is hard to replace. You begin to contribute different types of value and develop an advantage over your competition.

This is where the leverage part comes in. The more unique value you add, the harder you are to replace. The harder you are to replace, the more leverage you have in your business, your job, and in your own skills.

I’m constantly trying to improve mastery in my own trade, but learning to write, lead, and be a great teammate has allowed me to become an invaluable member of any team. I’ve developed an advantage over someone else who isn’t as cross-disciplined.

Some skills that I’ve come across are:

  • Leadership
  • Design
  • Writing
  • Negotiating
  • Sales
  • Programming
  • Networking
  • Brand thinking and building
  • Product thinking and building
  • Be a great teammate

And, of course, as you learn new skills and improve in self-learning, you become more adept at picking up other skills more quickly and efficiently.

Keep an eye out for a future blog post where I talk about how learning to program has given me the freedom to travel while working and provided a great salary to boot. In addition, it will outline how programming (and other leverage skills) can change your life too!

Foreign Travel Part 2: Best Apps, Services, & Tools

On January 25th, 2018, I started a 3-month Southeast Asia trip with my girlfriend, Sam.

This is the first in a series of travel-related posts where I’ll talk about lessons we learn along the way. These ideas surely aren’t new, but hopefully, we point you to a few solid resources that help you take that leap or travel more effectively.

Moving in and out of airports, finding our way to hotels and Airbnbs, finding WiFi at 2 am to get online for meetings…

The past few weeks have been a rush of new challenges. However, in the face of these challenges, these apps, services, and tools have proven to be godsends.

Testing tons of new apps along the way, I’ve found these tools to be invaluable in my brief digital nomad life. And I’ve only left the tools that I use on a daily basis.

I think any digital nomad could get value from these and to provide an updated list, I’ve set it on another page so that I can keep it up to date.

See it here.

AirDrop is One of Apple’s Best Unknown Features

AirDrop came out a few years ago on macOS Lion, but over the last few months, I’ve been testing it and loving it. It’s quickly become my preferred way to transfer things between friends and my computer and phone. Especially if you’re a digital nomad type, AirDrop is a huge productivity-saver as long as you have Apple devices.

How does it work?

[Airdrop] uses Bluetooth LE to broadcast, discover, and negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi to transfer data.


This has several massive pros:

  • It’s freakin’ fast
  • No data necessary
  • Very secure: More than email, or uploading it to a server

Recently, I’ve embarked on a trip to Asia to try the digital nomad lifestyle. So naturally, I decided to download 5GB of videos to my computer the night before the flight. But I forgot to transfer them to my phone!

Without wifi or a way to charge my laptop, I was stuck on the plane when I remembered! I decided to test AirDrop. All the videos appeared on my phone within 5 minutes and it only used 3% of my laptop battery.


Here are a few more applications that are amazing:

AirDrop Text: In a foreign country without cell service or data and need to give your friend a phone number or address.
AirDrop WiFi Passwords: If someone has already connected to the WiFi and you are select it to connect, it will prompt the other user for the WiFi password. If the user agrees, it will automatically connect you without requiring you to type anything. It doesn’t always prompt the other user, but when it works it’s magic.

For more information using or setting up AirDrop, I recommend this imore article I linked above. It’s pretty comprehensive.