Blogging From Bali: The Renegade Workflow Project

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So, I’m going to be hitting the road with my family this summer and basing out of Bali for July and maybe August, too.

I’m also starting on book number two (which was just sold, formal announcement to come soon) and is on a totally different topic than Career Renegade. I’m really psyched to dive into this one, it’s going to go a lot deeper into some pretty powerful lifestyle and business phenomena. And, it’ll be kinda interesting to see how Bali effects how and what I write.

Why Bali, btw? How can we pull it off? What will else will I be doing while I’m there?

I’ll answer these questions and a whole lot more once I’m there and I can show you, rather than tell you (but, let it be known, it had nothing to do with Eat, Pray Love. LOL)!

While I’m gone, I’m also going to experiment with some pretty “renegadey” changes to my writing and online work-flow in an effort to create the most compelling content possible, while also dramatically streamlining my processes. That’ll free me up to write the book, take skype calls with my consulting clients and spend a whole lot of time playing with my family and exploring the nooks and crannies of this stunning island.

As part of this work-flow evolution, I’ll be doing a lot more video blogging. For two reasons. One, so I can take you along on my Balinese Renegade Adventure and share my experiences with you guys as vividly as possible. And, two, because it takes me a lot less time to create compelling video, from shoot to publication, than it does to write. Especially the way I’m about to do it.

For those interested, my process for video content creation will be:

  • Film video segments in HD with either my Flip Ultra HD, Canon Vixia HFS100 or iPhone 4 (if the Gods favor me with one before I leave),
  • Upload them to my Dropbox account at night (when I’ll have wi-fi access and less competition for Balinese bandwidth),
  • Ask my virtual assistant (VA) to drop the footage into iMovie on her computer, add in my standard intro and outro and upload the final segments to YouTube then embed them in a video post, set as draft for me to add a few sentences to provide context and post the next morning.

I’ll also be experimenting with a move to audio as source for both podcasts and text posts.

Here’s my planned work-flow for audio and text:

  • Hike or ride my bike to some place that inspires me (or, lie in a hammock on the porch),
  • Speak my posts into either an Olympus LS-10 recorder or iPhone voice recorder app and record direct to mp3 format,
  • Dropbox the mp3s to my VA, where she’ll download it, edit in standard audio lead-ins and wrap-ups, publish the finished audio as podcasts to my media-hosting site, which then gets picked up by iTunes,
  • Then She’ll: (1) Transcribe the audio, copy-edit the text and drop it into WordPress as a text post for this blog, (2) Source a relevant Creative Commons image from Flickr for the post, then (3) Crop and insert the image into the post, awaiting approval for final editing and publication.

And, the last big change, I’ll be folding in a new weekly featured guest post, which is something I almost never do on the blog, but the few times I have done it, it’s been really well recieved. So, for at least the time I’m in Bali, I’ll be featuring some amazing bloggers and their mouthwateringly good content.

Contributors will include Danielle LaPorte, Chris Guillebeau, Alexis Martin Neely, Leo Babauta, J.D. Roth, Glen Stansberry and a handful of other amazing thinkers and writers.

It’s going to be a fascinating experiment for me. I’m sure there’ll be bumps along the road. Both technological and human. For example, it’ll be interesting to see how I do with being able to speak posts that are articulate enough to edit into really solid text posts. And, I have no idea how easy it’ll be to upload HD video almost daily on a connection that’s not known for it’s consistency.

But, the cool thing is, once the kinks are worked out (if it all works, lol), the net savings to me in time, effort and mental space will be huge. And, I’ll very likely keep these processes in place upon my return.

So…more to come as the journey unfolds. We’re all going to Bali this summer!

Just wanted to bring you into the Great Summer 2010 Balinese Blogging Adventure and Renegade Work-flow Project that’s about to come to life.

And, as I mentioned, I’ll share a bunch more about why we chose Bali and what I’m really doing there…once I’m settled…and wearing my sarong (so sorry for the mental image)!

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69 responses

69 responses to “Blogging From Bali: The Renegade Workflow Project”

  1. Derek says:

    Sounds like a blast man. I’m looking forward to some of those videos.

    Oh, and, you have quite the line-up for guest posters. I’m sure they’ll submit some great stuff this summer.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, and there’s a few more names I’m about to add. Gonna be a great lineup, for sure!

  2. This is great Jonathan – south east asia is fantastic. Feels almost neighborly for us Australians and New Zealanders!

    Can’t wait to see what comes next (and to hear more about what you’re really up to).

    Good luck and I wish you good luck finding a high speed, reliable broadband connection. Ah Bali…. beautiful? Yes. Technologically sophisticated? No.

    … but that’s kind of the beauty of it, isn’t it?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yup, I’m going in expecting tech glitches and if they don’t happen I’ll be pleasantly surprised, so I’ll be setting up some backup workflow stuff, too. Spent 3 months diving off the East coast of Australia many years ago, it’ll be great to be back in your part of the world

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by remarkablogger, Grant Griffiths and Santi Chacon, TwittyBean. TwittyBean said: Blogging From Bali: The Renegade Workflow Project […]

  4. […] Blogging From Bali: The Renegade Workflow Project […]

  5. Tammy says:

    Wow! Bali! That sounds amazing!

    I think it’s good to make a major change in location every once in a while, even if it is just for a couple of months. It gives you the opportunity to re-evaluate your processes and output from scratch and you always, always learn some new skills.

    I spend a lot of time in Domincan Republic; I’m not sure how Bali compares in terms of it’s technology and it’s access to Wi-Fi, but I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem running my business from there, despite it’s sketchy electricity supply and gadget-destroying sea air! You just learn to find work arounds and tricks, and most importantly, you learn to ask for help and to not get too worked up when things don’t go according to plan.

    Good luck, looking forward to thr Bali Blog!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      In an odd way, I almost feel like the tech/connectivity will be what it’s “supposed” to be while I’m there. If I can’t connect, I’ll take it as a sign from the Gods, lol

  6. Tisha Morris says:

    You are now officially my hero 🙂
    Sounds like an incredible Summer! Enjoy!

    p.s. Your thoughts on using Dragon dictation via iphone?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Haha, will be shooting a ton of video to bring everyone along. I’ll also be exploring Dragon Dictate. Challenge being I work on a mac and the mac version isn’t known to work quite as well But, that is definitely one of my potential workflow backup options.

  7. Jean Sarauer says:

    Looking forward to participating in your adventures. I’ve never been to Bali so will be soaking it in through your videos.

  8. Cobie says:

    Any suggestions as to where I might find a VA with the same video editing expertise as yours? I am working on short video segments for some of my marketing clients. Thanks!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      A couple of people have asked in the comments, so anyone who wants my VA’s info, just email me at jonathan at jonathanfields dot com and I’ll pass it on to you.

  9. Tom says:

    Ok, lots of cool stuff in this post – but as a new reader, my first question is about the VA. Sounds like a great way to streamline your process!

    How did you source that person and is that sort of service expensive?

    Thanks, and have a great trip.


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Tom, see my note above. It took a while to connect. I’m tracking the expenses for various elements of the renegade workflow project and will likely share pieces of the breakdown in a future post.

  10. Jarkko Laine says:

    This sounds really exciting! Looking forward to seeing your renegade workflow in action and hearing your experiences on how it went.

    Have a great stay in Bali with your family, Jonathan!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Thanks, dude, one day I hope to head over to your part of the world, too

  11. Wow! That’s awesome… I went on vacation for two weeks once… Guess it’s not really a vacation when you are doing what you love!

    Thank you for sharing your process with us, it’s always helpful to learn different ways to get things done more efficiently.

    (on a side note – how to I add my photo to my posts – I know it’s basic but i can’t figure it out. please help!)

  12. Really excited for your big adventure! I wish I could drop in for a live session.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Dude, that’d rock! But, me thinks you might be a tad busy with your monster book launch and 5,000 city tour coming up!

  13. Jenny Fenig says:

    Wow, Jonathan! Thrilled for you … you never cease to amaze me with your sense of adventure and “anything is possible” attitude.

    Yes, new scenery is good for the soul and for the creative process. Enjoy it!

    My fam and I are packing up our NYC apartment and MOVING at the end of the summer to a place that you and I both appreciate: the Berkshires! Looking forward to the space and a more relaxed pace to bring my ideas to life. Please let me know when you’re in town …

    I look forward to hearing about your next book!!


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Woohoo! That’s great news, J! Definitely email me your new info, I hope to be spending more time up there in the fall. We might end up seeing each other more up there than in nyc. 😉

  14. Sean says:

    Can’t wait to see how the summer in Bali unfolds for you both in terms of business and you personally. It seems like an incredible opportunity to go some place that will allow you to be creative and approach things from a new perspective.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      And, who knows, if shceduling works out, maybe we’ll even connect for that overlapping day

  15. Wow Jonathan you are my hero! I am visualizing a similar adventure! Now I get to share in your BALI summer and all the lessons learned BEFORE I go venture forth! thanks for leading the way!

  16. Kristy says:

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes, Jonathan. Bali is a magical place, and I for one am intrigued to see how you navigate the work/vacation line. I definitely had fantasies of “how can I make my work less reliant on location” while I was there and am in process of working those things out. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, I’m gonna write a bunch more on location independent workflow, too

  17. […] the original post: Blogging From Bali: The Renegade Workflow Project Comments […]

  18. what a super exciting opportunity. Can’t wait to “check in” with you. Enjoy

  19. Shake. It. Up!

    Best Beloved and I started talking Friday morning about going nomad; taking our portable businesses and our 6-year-old and living a mobile life. We’re shooting for some experimental baby steps late in the summer to work out the technical kinks, and hoping to be homeless, in the most formal sense, before the end of the year.

  20. Dixie Darr says:

    Good for you! I’m looking forward to reading your posts from Bali and also hearing about the new book. Your first book is what really turned me on to the idea of making a living online. Thank you for that!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Glad you enjoyed Career Renegade, the next one’s going to explore some really cool stuff

  21. Nick says:

    Wow man, that sounds awesome. I totally dig your new work flow. Pretty streamlined. 🙂

    Bali sounds great!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Haha, and thanks to you, I’ll be sporting a wide angle video shot in Bali!

  22. Bali is great place to work from.. I have good internet connection, although power cuts can be a bit of a problem

  23. Oooh Bali, love that place. Quite magical, make sure you travel to Ubud it’s just divine.

    The people are also super friendly and relaxed – but I’m sure you know all of this already. Looking forward to your video blogging and audio pursuits as I’m doing more of this too and it’s certainly great to mix it up.

    Dragon Dictation as mentioned by Tisha is a great app for converting what you say into text – even if it doesn’t understand my Kiwi accent!


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Yeah, we’re unofficially basing out of Ubud. Really looking forward to the workflow changes, too

  24. emma says:

    Definitely swing by Lombok for a few days – much less touristed than Bali and stunning (though Bali is certainly glorious as well) and hold onto your sunglasses whenever the monkeys are around. Have an amazing stay!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Lombok is one the list, though it’ll all come down to time. I like to spend longer amounts of time in fewer places and go deeper with the people. My gut tells me we’ll be coming back

  25. Thanks for sharing the “how to.” Very helpful. Helps me to envision my own workflow. Very different, but spurs the creativity.

    Have a great time. Looking forward to the updates.


    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Thanks, Leisa, I’m sure the workflow will evolve, I’ll keep you guys updated as it does

  26. Sean Aiken says:

    Exciting stuff! Look forward to following along with the journey!

  27. Excited to see how this goes. Looks like you’ve done a pretty good job on the first & most important part–planning!

  28. Tom Bentley says:

    Bali, eh? And you’re going to be working? That’s what they all say…

    I spent a blissful week in Bali a few years ago: what warm people, wonderful food, and intriguing culture; they seemed to have integrated their spiritual beliefs into their daily lives without it being some intrusive burden, but a genial unfolding of a worthy path. The Internet cafes in Ubud had great coffee too! Snorkeling’s not bad in Amed either…

    Hope it’s a great adventure; glad we’ll get to see some of it.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Amen to all of that, man! I’m actually pretty fascinating by that comingling of spiritual ritual and daily life you talked about. If it’s not too intrusive, I’ll as much of that as I can on video as the summer progresses.

  29. Abhijeet says:

    Let the Great Summer 2010 Balinese Blogging Adventure begin!

    I’m really intrigued by your workflow project…maybe you can have some insights for us in terms what worked and what tweaks did you have to make to make it work 🙂

    BTW, can I hire your VA? he / she sounds phenomenal!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Will definitely share more on the workflow, see my above comments for contact deets for my VA

  30. Salma says:

    So psyched for your Bali adventure Jonathan and I’m not even going on one! But excited to see how things work out for you and keenly watching to see how the processes go (hope you get all the kinks worked out soon)…

    here’s to the best kind of education – travel 🙂

    p.s. downloading dropbox now – thanks for the heads up on that!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      yeah, I’m really looking forward to learning more by traveling and doing and getting my head out of book based learning for a while. And, yes, dropbox rocks!

  31. Satu says:

    Jonathan, I envy you already! 🙂

    I’m excited you are going to be writing a new book. I read Career Renegade some time ago, but I forgot to thank you about it.

    By the way, I very much liked the term “attentional training” you used in some of your earlier writings this spring. Is it a term you coined yourself? In would like to borrow it and I would like to know whom to refer to… 🙂

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Satu, I’ve not idea if I made up the term attentional training or not, but I wasn’t aware of it being used before that post. I did it more to give the practice a more modern, outcome-oriented feel

  32. Jonathan,
    Sweet. How great is it to have a portable career that includes creativity, beauty, family, adventure….? You live by example!

    Happy trails!

  33. VERY cool to see you joining the traveling lifestyle and location independent movement! Waving you on from our perch here in Barcelona. Perhaps if you stay longer or decide to add more travel we can catch up with you when we head to Asia this fall. Wouldn’t it be fun to see our lucky girls play together! 😉

  34. Wow Jonathan! Have an amazing time in Bali (give my love to Ubud, avoid Kuta like the plague…) and huge congrats on the new book! I can’t wait to hear how the grand experiment unfolds and I look forward to some juicy guest posts.

  35. MommaDJane says:

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read all about it and follow along. I am hoping to plan something like this for next year. It’s even on my Life List and I totally want to do what Julia Roberts does in Eat, Pray, Love. LOL

    Have a great trip!

  36. […] Fields: I have learned to know Jonathan as the super excited, always friendly and helpful blogger who puts his family first and encourages us to find new ways to make a living as career renegades. But what really blew me […]

  37. […] great Bali Renegade Workflow Project has officially launched. For the better part of the summer, I’ll be operating out of Bali, […]

  38. […] great Bali Renegade Workflow Project has officially launched. For the better part of the summer, I’ll be operating out of Bali, […]

  39. This sounds very cool and interesting. It sounds great to be able to take your career on the go where ever you go. I cant wait till i can go to Bali. I am really looking forward to reading your post while you are on the move. This post inspired me to travel more and deal with my work-flow in a more fulfilling way. Hope you have a fun and great summer. Being in a new location should be great. Best of luck to you.