I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

Forest App: Improving Your Focus & Productivity Using Trees

During our ‘Deep Work’ Workshop, one of the participants mentioned that she found the FOREST app useful.  I made a note of it. I was looking for an app that combines both the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ and also logging in my hourly focus pattern.  Today, I downloaded the app and immediately started to like it.

Its best purpose is to let you stay away from your phone.  This is a problem that plagues me. The solution? A simple visual trick.  Everytime you commit to working for a certain time (say 20 minutes), a seed is planted when you start the clock.  The seed will germinate and a sapling will emerge and will continue to grow as long as your phone is not touched.   If you open up any other app, like your email or Facebook, the tree will die.

As a farmer, I hate to see a sapling or tree die. So, this works perfectly for me to continue to remain focused and to get away from my addiction of constantly peeking into my phone.


How I Decided to Add Zing to My Business Travels and Make Them Interesting.

Making Business Travel Interesting

One of the better decisions that I have taken is to make my business trips to other cities be worth it. Usually,  I fly in the morning, finish my meeting or my talk and fly out that night. It’s very….err..umm…businesslike and banal.  So, I made two resolutions that added the much needed mojo into my travel.

1) I decided that I will meet up with interesting people in each city I visit. This is where my Podcasts, Kiruba.TV (Podcast with Achievers) , Digital PowWow (Social Media Podcast)  and First Book (Podcast with Authors)  comes in handy. I always have someone interesting people to reach out to.

2) I decided to add at-least an extra day to my itinerary to visit interesting and offbeat places in the city.

Here’s to more travel, visiting more interesting people and places!

50% discount on Levi’s 501 Jeans

I was very surprised to find a 50% discount on the Classic Levi’s 501 jeans. It was an amazing deal and picked up four of them. Decided to try one at the ‘Trial Room’ and quickly realized why they put these jeans on distress sale. I could not even button up two of those buttons. After struggling with it for 10 minutes, I gave up. As I placed the four jeans back in the counter, the store dude gave me a ‘I knew it’ smile.

Scrivener, my writing tool

I have recently started using Scrivener as my writing tool. I have found this useful over MS Word especially for organizing my thoughts. However, am a newbie and just started to scratch around. Does someone here use Scrivener extensively? Would love to get some tips.


Great insights into how to conduct a great workshop. Very useful tips if you are an organizer. http://t.co/LMRUBvHeIE

Original Article: Workshops are hopeful things. They’re sold on so much promise, but that promise is often dashed as students discover their instructor has little idea how to teach anything.

For years I was a workshop guy. I taught them, I studied them, I even hired people to do them for other companies. I watched many instructors run them and I know the common mistakes. Here’s my best advice on how run a workshop people will love.


The word workshop implies that work will be done in a shop like atmosphere. This means the center of attention should be on the students doing work, not on the expert gloating in their own ego.

Most experts suck at workshops because they are used to lecturing. A lecture has the spotlight on the speaker, but a workshop has the spotlight on each of the students.

The skills involved in designing workshops are very different for this reason. Instead of crafting a message for people to listen to, a good workshop is crafted to give students the opportunity for guided instruction in doing things. Many workshops are born from lectures, which explains why those workshops are so boring.


Better workshop instructors make larger groups feel more interactive, but beyond 20 or 25 people the instructor is spread thin. The common approach for large groups is to have people work in teams, as they at least get to be interactive with each other while the instructor is helping other students. In bad cases group work is a copout: the exercises aren’t interesting enough, or students struggle to work with annoying strangers who are too pushy or too passive. Working in groups of 2 to 4 people in a challenging exercise ensures everyone works, but larger than that invites more time spent co-ordinating than working. Continue Reading…