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Productivity

  • I’m immediately spending the time to write coherent notes rather than adding ideas to a backlog thinking I’ll do it later.

    Same for reading articles and processing information. If it’s important enough to capture, I spend a few minutes doing it right and helping out my future self.

    I try to at least.

  • My daughter (17) is going to prom tonight with her boyfriend. I don’t feel old enough for this. We’re about to get some pictures and send her off!

    I’m so proud of how much she has accomplished in life already.

  • The Brain vs. The List

    “Your digital task manager and calendar help “collect” all the things you need to do, both today and for the future. Your analog notebook helps you sit down, take a deep breath, and think through what’s most important for this week and for today." (Chloe, The Brain vs. The List)

    I’ve been using this approach lately and enjoy it. I store everything digitally but work from paper. It helps me remove distractions, and processing my notes and even rewriting is a great way to prioritize.

  • From Problem to Solution - How Writing Can Help You

    Have you ever started an email to someone that explains a problem to them, one that you don’t know the solution to, then by the time you finish the email, you’ve realized you have come up with a solution? Simply writing out a problem where the explanation is as simple as possible (so someone else … read more

  • Using a working memory file to stay productive during the day

    I created a Working Memory file that I’ll use throughout the day. I learned this from Cal Newport, although I’m sure he didn’t invent the idea. The idea is to have a single text file open all day that you use to write all of your notes, today’s tasks, etc. Similar to a Daily Note available in some … read more

  • Our assumptions may limit our creativity

    What we learn during life feeds our assumptions on how things should or should not work. Even when we’re not an expert on something, we can make assumptions based on our limited knowledge. We think of these “rules” as the way things are. These assumptions are often limiting our … read more

  • The benefits of mind wandering

    Reading Stolen Focus by Johann Hari 📚, the author discusses the “Disruption of Mind Wandering” in Chapter 5 and how we tend to consider mind wandering negative. Yet, the author explains, it’s part of how we learn and create. “Creativity is not where you create some new thing that’s emerged from … read more

  • I’m trying the Agenda app

    I’ve been experimenting with task management and note applications for a while now. I wouldn’t say I like organizing into folders or even using tags. I’ve gone down that road and spent too much time trying to stay organized. I want to capture notes from an idea or meeting and keep them front and … read more

  • Take care of your eyes with the 20-20-20 Rule

    As we all know, staring at a screen causes eye strain. When you do this too long and too often, your eyes may not recover. This eye strain is often called computer vision syndrome (CVS) and can cause headaches, fatigue, dry eyes, and long-term damage. What is the 20–20–20 Rule? Every 20 minutes you … read more

  • Adding color to your tools can help you be more productive

    Use colors as a way to categorize things. We can use Colors in our Productivity System to help us quickly identify things. I find it especially useful to identify each area of my life with a specific color. Here are some of the colors I use to identify areas of my life. Purple = Family Red = Health … read more

  • New to Mac? Here are some tips to help be productive

    I recently switched my setup to a Mac. As a long-time Windows user, this is quite a jarring transition. There were some things I immediately missed from Windows and some things that I had to spend some time figuring out because they make no sense on a Mac. Poor window management. Closing an app … read more

  • Using an index card to manage your daily tasks and notes

    Using a simple index card is a simple technique to help you focus during the day. The process is simple. Each day, pull out a new card. Write down the most important tasks you want to complete that day. During the day, focus on those tasks. Add other tasks as they come up. You don’t need to do … read more