Today I have a new downloadable PDF for you, curated thoughts on what the “right” amount of productivity is, hot links and one Google Docs tip.

Continuing to experiment with newsletter form — keep the feedback coming! Let’s take this baby for a spin. 🚗

—Nick Wolny

New quick guide: “6 prompt tips for better AI writing”

Hot off the presses — er, uh, Google Docs — I have a new free guide with some best practices for prompting AI engines, specifically for writers and business stakeholders.

I made this to get some thoughts down on paper about AI, but also because my newsletter signups were trash this month. My data have always shown that freebies and lead magnets get better signup rates than a general “sign up for my newsletter” CTA. But I wondered if, in the era of Substack, that had changed. It hasn’t! Freebies and lead magnets still work, y’all.

I used to try more complicated signup bonuses like swipe files, but little digital pamphlets like these still work best for me, and they’re easier to produce.

Artificial intelligence is disrupting many different industries at the moment. Smaller writing jobs like social media captions and job descriptions are becoming increasingly automated. I personally believe we’re years away from AI actually being able to communicate more effectively than humans, but the time is now to read up on how these tech tools work so you don’t get left behind.

In the age of AI, you no longer need to be a good writer. You need to be a good editor. When you learn how to edit quickly and well, publishing gets a lot easier.

Check out this free 12-pager from me that has 6 hot tips for getting more out of ChatGPT, Claude, or another generative AI tool of your choosing.

90% productivity is way too high


I recently stumbled across the blog of Jason Cohen, CIO of WPEngine, which he founded back in 2010. If the four companies you’ve started have resulted in two unicorns and two exits, you’re doing something right.

The whole blog is simple and understated, and it proves the enduring power of longform. You don’t need to post shit every day on social media to make a good first impression; just take your time and publish something really good once.

In one story, linked below, Jason uses the utilization of servers as an analogy for our own lives. Servers can’t operate at 90% as their baseline, because when there are sudden spikes in traffic, the result is overload.

Jason invites us to take this same perspective to both personal and team productivity. I’m vibing with it. I think 90% productivity as a baseline is too high. It leaves no space to push when opportunities arise, or when inspiration strikes and you’re ready to move.

(Also, Jason posted this on Threads this week, but he wrote it back in 2015 — that’s durability.)

What do you think? Give this piece a read and let me know.

Reading is fundamental


Content marketing and online business

The U.S. TikTok ban may actually go through — ByteDance’s initial reaction appears to be that they’d rather shut down U.S. operations than divest an arm of its business. (The Wall Street Journal)

The most popular podcast platform is… YouTube! Video podcasts continue to surge in popularity as a multi-modality content format. (The New York Times)

6 White Hat SEO Methods For Google To Like And Reward Your Content. (Surfer SEO blog)

3 types of content that AI can’t create. (SparkToro blog)

How Medium is battling spam and fraud. (Medium)

Otter began offering AI Channels, a chatbot to collaborate with team members based on past meeting transcripts. (Otter blog)

Dropbox’s new features include more secure sharing links, dynamic filters, new Microsoft integrations, and, of course, an AI assistant. (Dropbox press room)


MAMAA (Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet)

Google is testing “Speaking practice” in Search, which uses a conversational AI bot to let Search Labs users in some countries improve their English skills. (TechCrunch)

Big Tech keeps spending billions on AI. There’s no end in sight. This was a really well-written explainer on why big tech is so hot on AI right now. (Washington Post)

Investors love that Google and Microsoft are spending a lot on AI, but hate Meta for the same reason. Meta’s stock price slid 11% after their Q1 earnings call this week, despite beating revenue and profit expectations. (CNBC)

Apple renewed talks with OpenAI for iPhone generative AI features. (Reuters)

Apple will launch a “Made For Business” series next month targeted at how the company’s features can benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs. (Apple Newsroom)

Demand for AI services is so high that Microsoft cannot keep up, the CFO said in Thursday’s earnings call. (CNBC)



You can now buy a flame-throwing robot dog for under $10,000What could go wrong?(Ars Technica)

U.S. colleges are now closing at a rate of one college per week. (The Washington Post)

Chaturbate will pay Texas $675,000 for violating a new porn age verification law. (404Media)

Apple removes three AI photo apps after 404 Media proved they could be used to create nonconsensual nudes. (404 Media)


That copy-able Google Doc link above? You can do that with any Google doc URL, ya know.

Take the sharing link for a Google Doc, go to the end of the URL, and replace the information after the last backslash with the word “copy”.

This lets people copy your Google documents without ever seeing the original — it’s a little more private.

If you ever offer Google Docs as freebies, be sure to also offer a PDF (Just download as PDF) so that non-G Suite users can access it.

Let’s make it a great week!