I thought I would switch it up today and write something more about AE. Previously we mentioned how we wanted to open up more on the blog so we want to continue that. We often get asked various random questions so I thought I would answer a bunch of them plus add in some other random things you might want to know about us. This is just for fun and here are 10 things you might not know about Asian Efficiency.
1. It all started as a joke.
A couple of our friends coined the term “asian efficiency” when they noticed how fast we could produce quality work with ease. They joked that it was because of our Asian genes so for fun we registered asianefficiency.com. A year went by and as the domain name was up for renewal, we thought it might be a fun idea just to share some stuff about how we do things.
Now almost three years later, it’s what we do every day. Who would have thought!
2. We have weird backgrounds.
Aaron is Australian, looks Chinese, lived in the US and now resides in Bangkok. Plus he speaks Thai and bits of Mandarin. And he likes to use British spelling – which I have to then correct for the blog.
Yours truly is Dutch, looks Vietnamese, grew up in The Netherlands, lived in various countries and now resides in Los Angeles. Plus I speak Vietnamese, Dutch and German. I can swear in Hungarian too.
3. We use Asana for team collaboration.
OmniFocus is not really built for team work but Asana excels at that. We have developed some best practices for Asana so expect more content on Asana soon.
4. We use various platforms to manage AE.
While Asana helps us collaborate, we use a variety of different platforms for managing AE. Our philosophy has always been to keep it as simple as possible which usually means we tend to stick to one platform and make sure everything else works within the eco-system.
Some of the platforms we use:
- Ontraport – manages newsletter, customers and product delivery.
- Google Apps for Business – for our email accounts and shared calendar.
- Dropbox – sharing files.
The beauty of this is that all these work together in one way or another or don’t overlap. It took us a long time and trial-and-error to find a good mix, but this has been working really well for us.
5. We have a weekly conference call.
As much as we hate meetings, every Monday we get on Skype for about an hour and talk about what to write, what we need to do this week and general stuff about AE. It takes place around the time when I usually finish my day whereas Aaron just finished his morning workout and is about to start his day.
6. We spend way too much money on food.
We love eating and independently we’re always trying out new food places. I’m pretty sure the only reason we workout is so we can keep eating more new foods ;-)
7. Our content is pre-determined.
We have a huge list of topics we want to write about that we store in an Excel file. This also serves as our content schedule. Once a month Aaron will pick a bunch of topics and schedule them in.
We literally have 150+ topics we want to write about. So there is never the excuse “what should we write about”. You guys also contribute a lot of ideas over email and social media, and all these suggestions end up in this Excel sheet.
8. We read a lot of books.
Most of the content on the blog is inspired by a mix of personal experience, working with people and knowledge derived from the books we read. We often get emails from people saying how unique our content is compared to what’s out there and we can attribute that to the books we read.
We have a list of books we recommend right here, but it’s really a fraction of all the books we’ve read and recommend. We strive to keep reading and learning as long as we’re alive.
9. Aaron is a mind mapping ninja.
Watching Aaron mind map is like watching Mozart compose a song. He’s the one who got me into mind mapping and a lot of the content we have published about mind mapping is heavily influenced by Aaron’s years of experience.
10. Various interesting facts about AE.
- Top 3 countries of readers: US, UK and Canada.
- Most popular post of 2013 (thus far): Organizing Your Files, Folders and Documents
- We receive 80+ daily emails. We read everything but sometimes can’t respond to everything. Until we do a marathon email clearing session.
- Most readers come from New York City.
Is there anything you want to know about us? Just ask us in the comments below!